Effectiveness of medical music therapy practice: integrative research using the electronic health record: rationale, design, and population characteristics Journal Article uri icon
  • Background: Several clinical trials support the efficacy of music therapy (MT) for improving outcomes in hospitalized patients, but few studies have evaluated the real-world delivery and integration of MT across multiple medical centers. This article describes the rationale, design, and population characteristics of a retrospective study examining the delivery and integration of MT within a large health system. Methods: A retrospective electronic health record (EHR) review was conducted of hospitalized patients seen by and/or referred to MT between January 2017 and July 2020. MT was provided across ten medical centers, including an academic medical center, a freestanding cancer center, and eight community hospitals. Discrete demographic, clinical, and MT treatment and referral characteristics were extracted from the EHR, cleaned, and organized using regular expressions functions, and they were summarized using descriptive statistics. Results: The MT team (average 11.6 clinical fulltime equivalent staff/year) provided 14,261 sessions to 7378 patients across 9091 hospitalizations. Patients were predominantly female (63.7%), White (54.3%) or Black/African American (44.0%), 63.7 ± 18.5 years of age at admission, and insured under Medicare (51.1%), Medicaid (18.1%), or private insurance (14.2%). Patients' hospitalizations (median length of stay: 5 days) were primarily for cardiovascular (11.8%), respiratory (9.9%), or musculoskeletal (8.9%) conditions. Overall, 39.4% of patients' hospital admissions included a mental health diagnosis, and 15.4% were referred to palliative care. Patients were referred by physicians (34.7%), nurses (29.4%), or advanced practice providers (24.7%) for coping (32.0%), anxiety reduction (20.4%), or pain management (10.1%). Therapists provided sessions to patients discharged from medical/surgical (74.5%), oncology (18.4%), or intensive care (5.8%) units. Conclusions: This retrospective study indicates that MT can be integrated across a large health system for addressing the needs of socioeconomically diverse patients. However, future research is needed to assess MT's impact on health care utilization (i.e., length of stay and rates of readmission) and immediate patient-reported outcomes.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2024
  • published in
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Music
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Additional Document Info
  • 30
  • issue
  • 1