Pilot study: Facilitation of the use of music in Slovene health care

On the use of music in clinical practice and in research.

A questionnaire was developed with the aim of pilot testing of interests and motivations to introduce music in the health system. The first group to be addressed in this way were musically active physicians. The pilot study revealed the need for more systematic education about the potential use of music in healthcare and inclination towards more passive forms of musical interventions. Reservations regarding execution of musical interventions were also common.

Future steps to introduce more music into healthcare: assessing the questionnaire and improving it, sending it to a larger population of medical professionals, setting up a core-task group, increasing knowledge in specific areas of medicine, promoting research in the clinical field, collecting /developing / introducing diagnostic instruments assessing music-related abilities in vulnerable groups, and including the topic of music and medicine in professional meetings of various health professionals (nurses, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists,…).

Editorial board: Manca Kok, Ana Kuder, Saška Rakef, Marko Zupan, Igor M Ravnik

Our goal is to sensitize the medical community and the general public to consider music as a relevant agent in Slovenian health care.

Since there is no systematic education about the use of music in medicine, the radio represents a platform that can create high quality content and reach a wider audience. We are using the radio as an educational platform, eventually hoping for it to be used as a means of introducing music into healthcare settings as well. Our sample of medical doctors believed that the most feasible introductions of music would indeed be in a more passive form, as background music in waiting rooms, operation rooms etc. Regarding this the diversity of personal preferences of the users was also noted by the respondents as an important challenge.

The pilot study opened up many future questions and ambitions. Would starting by including music in currently silent healthcare rooms (such as certain waiting rooms, delivery rooms etc.) reduce resistance among staff for including more intensive interventions? How to circumvent obstacles such as the diversity of music tastes? Which are the steps and instruments that would allow for (clinical) application and introduction of music in medical settings? How to systematically educate young medical professionals and encourage interdisciplinarity? And lastly how to implement changes supported by research among overworked medical professionals?

We hope that a larger study in the future will give a realistic view of the situation and bring certainty in the proceedings towards music as a relevant agent in health care, but are welcoming to any ideas and experiences from professionals outside Slovenia.