Award-winning Music and Health project

Danish Nurses Organization (DNO)’s Athena prize was recently awarded to the project “Live music for intensive care patients” in an intensive care unit at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH). RAMA has a significant share in the project, which has since been mentioned in several media and professional journals.

The project consists of one or two students from RAMA playing small, silent “concerts” for intensive care patients, individually in the patient’s room at AUH. At the same time, the nurses collect data to document the effect. The soundscape in an intensive care unit is usually quite stressful. With music, a completely different sound universe enters everyday life.

In an interview study, patients have almost unanimously indicated that music has given them a break and some peace from chaos and illness. At the same time, the collected data showed that the heart and respiratory rate decreased, and both the pain experience and the measured stress level were reduced.

The project is now in its third year, and the staff in the intensive care units have also been unequivocally happy with the process. The Athena award rewards nursing efforts that meet the UN’s global goals for sustainable development.

Attention and fixed grant

After the award in November, the project has been mentioned in a number of media, including in Aarhus Stiftstidende, TV2 and DR’s Kulturen på P1. Likewise, the professional magazine Sygeplejersken has mentioned the project, and very recently, on 4 December, the second of two articles in international journals about the work with Music and Health at RAMA was published.

The article “Live music during Hemodialysis: A Multiple Methods Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial” was published in the peer-reviewed online journal “Journal of Renal Care”, a magazine for interdisciplinary teams working with kidney diseases. In August, “Musical Breaks – Live Music in a Hemodialysis Setting – A Qualitative Study on Patient, Nurse, and Musician Perspectives” was published in “HealthCare”, a broad, peer-reviewed international journal for health policy, technology, etc. Associate professor at RAMA Margrethe Langer Bro is co-author on both articles.

Recently, Region Midt has allocated money to implement live music in the four intensive care units at AUH. Two students are assigned to the project to play weekly “concerts” for the patients, and a RAMA teacher gives them continuous supervision. The department management at AUH has given a commitment to finance tariff remuneration going forward as a permanent offer after the implementation period. Similar projects are expected to be implemented in the near future at Regionshospitalet Gødstrup (Herning) and Regionshospitalet in Viborg.

Elective subjects, internship and bachelor project

For a number of years, RAMA has worked with the use of music in the health sector, e.g. as pain relief. Associate professor Margrethe Langer Bro, pianist and PhD, offers the elective course Music and Health, which is getting more and more students, 25 are registered in 2023. Several of the students have completed their internships in intensive care units, and in May 2022 the two students, who helped win the Athena prize, wrote their bachelor’s project on the AUH-project.

The efforts within music and health are part of RAMA’s overall strategy of educating for artistic citizenship.

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