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In 2008, Beth Abraham Health Services (BAHS) participated in a demonstration project* to assess the impact that the use of MP3 players/iPods have on a patient’s quality of life and to determine the feasibility of facility-wide implementation.
Under the supervision of a music therapist, the MP3 player/iPod listening program was integrated into the patients’ care plans. Each patient selected his or her favorite songs. The selection of songs was downloaded to the MP3 player/iPod, which was used every day.
The MP3 player/iPod program brought about positive changes in behavior, such as reduced depression, agitation, and anxiety, as well as improvement in mood. At Beth Abraham Health Services Adult Day Health Care Program, where the study was conducted, MP3 player/iPod Listening Groups were formed. Group participants were able to discuss and share their music with each other. They reported increased feelings of community, support and connection with other members of the group. In addition, patients felt more connected to people of other generations and learned about other cultures through the music.
*The results of the demonstration project were published in the September 2008 issue of Managing Health Today.
Other Supporting Research and Newsworthy Articles
A research finding, published in Cerebral Cortex online in February 2009, explains why people with Alzheimer’s disease can display a strong emotional response to songs. Please click on the following links for more information:
The Neural Architecture of Music–Evoked Autobiographical Memories, Petr Janata, Department of Psychology, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California
With music, you can reach out and connect with other people. Everyone has something that connects him to something else. I’m thinking, I can move my leg and Bob Marley says, ‘don’t give up, no matter how hard, no matter how it looks, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.