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The benefits of music therapy for hospitalized individuals being debated at Hospital del Mar.

Hospital del Mar has been advocating for music therapy for years to improve the health of hospitalized patients and assist in their evolution and recovery process. It has been proven that music therapy is a tool to reduce stress levels, as well as to improve other clinical indicators such as pain, and reduce the incidence of delirium in critical patients. Its assistance in cognitive connection has also been confirmed, and in patients in the final stages of life, a positive emotional effect has been evidenced, decreasing fatigue and anxiety. For patients with mental illnesses, efforts have been made to increase emotional well-being, socialization, self-esteem, reduce apathy, and promote communication.

The program has also included family members and companions so they can have this tool as a resource for emotional support. This commitment is integrated into the center's pioneering strategy for humanizing care.

With the aim of sharing experiences, providing results, and promoting a humanistic approach in patient treatment, on November 22nd, International Music Day, Hospital del Mar and the Amics de l'Hospital del Mar Foundation, in collaboration with the Mémora Foundation, organized a reflection day titled 'Music, Emotions, and Health.' The event welcomed musicians and music therapists, healthcare professionals, patients, and families, and was open to the public interested in the topic.

In the following video, you have a brief summary of the event.

The event featured a talk by composer, writer, and leader of the group Love of Lesbian, Santi Balmes, who reflected on the importance of music. 'What's magical about music is that it's not tangible,' he explained. Additionally, 'it has a universal and unifying effect; it's an individual creation that can be shared with many people,' he added.

Following this, several roundtable discussions, moderated by journalist Laura Rosel, opened debates on various aspects of music therapy. Three healthcare professionals and social workers shared their professional perspectives, while music therapists, patients, and family members offered another view of this therapy.

In this context, Dr. Irene Dot, assistant physician in the Intensive Medicine Service at Hospital del Mar, stated that through music therapy, 'we aim to alleviate patients' pain and anxiety using music,' while Núria Escudé, music therapist and director of the IL3 Master's in Music Therapy at the University of Barcelona, explained that 'music therapy involves using music for therapeutic purposes, to help others.' Beatriz Sogorb, a family member of a patient treated in the Palliative Care Unit, recalled how 'music helped them relax, connect with emotions, and transport themselves to other places, escaping from the illness,' and in her case, 'it helped me emotionally unblock and express emotions to understand them.'

The day concluded with a presentation by Josep París, Director of Corporate Development at the Mémora Foundation, and a piano concert by Pianos Vius.

The initiative was made possible through collaboration between Hospital del Mar and the Amics de l'Hospital del Mar Foundation.

Music Therapy for Terminal Patients

In collaboration with the Mémora Foundation, since 2011, Hospital del Mar, through the Palliative Care Unit, has offered a music therapy program for individuals admitted to this unit. The aim is to help them and their families cope with the pain and concerns arising from their situation. The project led to a pioneering clinical trial worldwide, demonstrating the positive emotional effect of music on terminal cancer patients, as well as a reduction in fatigue, anxiety, and improvements in breathing and well-being levels.

Study of Music Benefits in the ICU

The Intensive Medicine Service and the Research Institute at Hospital del Mar are conducting a study to analyze the progress of individuals admitted to the Intensive Care Unit diagnosed with delirium, to determine if music therapy sessions tailored to their treatment provide benefits. They are analyzing whether their condition, stress levels, and well-being indicators change after music therapy sessions through metabolic markers in their saliva. Preliminary results indicate that 100% reported a positive experience, 80% improved their connection with the environment, 57% of patients with delirium reversed their situation, and patients with pain showed an average decrease of 4.4 points on the EVA scale.

The research project is pioneering in humanizing care, a program of which this type of therapy is a part. The program is developed thanks to the collaboration of the Manuel Lao Foundation.

Mental Health and Music

The Mental Health Institute at Hospital del Mar has launched three initiatives related to music for its patients. This fall, an action has started to bring music therapy to individuals admitted to the subacute unit of the Centre Fòrum at Hospital del Mar. The project aims to improve the participants' relationships and bonds, as well as their self-esteem and psychopathological well-being. Simultaneously, it aims to act to reduce apathy, promote sensory stimulation, foster communication and expression, and encourage the development of communication and social skills.

Additionally, the Centre Dr. Emili Mira at Hospital del Mar has developed two programs related to music therapy. 'Donant la nota,' born in 2018 and coordinated by social workers from the Psychosocial Rehabilitation process, Marta Vallvé and Alícia Casals, targets individuals with severe mental disorders, aiming to help them develop interpersonal relationships and achieve improvements in emotional realms using music therapy tools. The initiative receives funding from the Mémora Foundation.

Moreover, the project 'Ritmes en companyia,' coordinated by occupational therapist Ángel Pérez de Gracia, partnered with the entity Apropa Cultura to measure the impact of music on the motivation, quality of life, and functionality of individuals hospitalized in the subacute and Long Stay mental health units at the Centre Dr. Emili Mira.

A Piano with a Lot of Life

Since the beginning of the summer of 2022, there has been a piano in the lobby of Hospital del Mar. The initiative, driven by the entity Pianos Vius and the Amics de l'Hospital del Mar Foundation, aims to promote music in the hospital and encourage its free use by patients, professionals, and visitors. To carry it out, donations from anonymous and supportive individuals were received.

Involvement of Civil Society

The impetus from the Amics de l'Hospital del Mar Foundation has been decisive in initiating and consolidating all music therapy programs, while the social commitment of entities like the Mèmora or Manuel Lao Foundations, or companies like Reig Jofre, has made possible the development of these programs through their contributions.

Link to the video of the event: