October 7, 2022

Music in the ICU to reduce stress and sedatives for patients

Barcelona (EFE).- The Hospital del Mar in Barcelona has restarted a trial, which had to be suspended due to the covid pandemic, to give music to some patients admitted to the ICU to verify its benefits, such as a reduction in stress levels and the need to administer sedatives.

The research, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), was resumed thanks to a donation from the Manuel Lao Foundation and the collaboration of the Amigos del Hospital del Mar Foundation, which encourages the participation of music therapists associated with Huella Sonora Musicoterapia.

The Hospital del Mar ICU is one of the pioneers in the humanization of care for hospitalized patients, with a program that includes therapeutic trips to see the sea, the use of virtual reality to reduce patients’ anxiety, and other initiatives.

The study aims to find out how music in the ICU, applied to admitted patients, helps their evolution and expects to have the first results within six months.

Music in the ICU adapted to each patient

The experience of applying music therapy to ICU patients was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a large part of the humanization projects in this space to be halted, but now, with the resumption of activity, they will take the opportunity to launch a study that will empirically analyze whether its use is really helpful in treating people admitted to the ICU.

“The goal of the humanization programs is that the patient progresses faster in their recovery process, is discharged earlier and does so with fewer consequences,” said the head of intensive medicine at Hospital del Mar, Joan Ramon Masclans.

According to the doctor, these actions also have an effect on families, reducing their anxiety levels, and also on health personnel, who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Music therapy is based on applying a musical program adapted to each patient individually to respond to their situation, evolution and responsiveness, with the intention of aiding their evolution, reducing stress and facilitating their interaction with their environment.

Walks to see the sea in the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona
Walks to see the sea in the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. EFE / Enric Fontcuberta

“In addition, this humanization tool is expected to reduce the need for sedative and anxiolytic medications. And thus reduce possible drug interactions and side effects of these drugs,” added the assistant physician of the Intensive Medicine Service and one of the coordinators of the humanization program, Cristina Climent.

The study will focus on patients diagnosed with delirium, hyperactive or hypoactive, and will investigate the effect of music therapy on reducing the incidence of delirium in these patients.

“Delirium is a frequent and serious consequence of patients requiring ICU admission and is associated with serious complications,” said Irene Dot, who is also an assistant physician in the ICU.

The study plans to collect saliva samples before and after the intervention to analyze certain metabolites that act as indicators of the patient’s stress level and well-being, to determine the benefits of the action on their condition.

Therapeutic walks to see the sea

In addition to taking therapeutic trips for ICU patients to see the sea, in the company of family and friends, at the Hospital del Mar ICU, they also use virtual reality technology to improve patients’ mood and help with the physical recovery exercises.

Now they are also working to allow access for therapeutic animals, and with the pandemic subsiding, they are thinking about restoring the possibility that patients are accompanied by their relatives at all times and that they can work together in the care they receive. .

Web editor: Rocio Casas

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