Using Technology to Connect Music Therapy and COVID-19 Patients
COVID-19 has caused devastation around the world, and music therapy has been an invaluable asset in helping patients cope with their illness. Whether through singing or playing instruments, music has been found to be a beneficial way of dealing with stress and anxiety caused by this pandemic.
Recently, music therapists have increasingly turned to technology for patient communication. But in light of a global pandemic, it has become even more essential for them to conduct face-to-face sessions. In response, many music therapists have modified their practices by social distancing, disinfecting their hands and instruments and wearing masks during in-person consultations.
Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic presented music therapists working with hospitalized patients with new challenges. They had to adhere to various restrictions, leading to a significant decrease in in-person music therapy sessions.
Many massage therapists (MTs) have now turned to virtual sessions for their patients, using internet and iPad-based platforms to deliver services. This has enabled patients like R to feel connected to their MTs even when they’re working remotely.
Reggie Cureton, who had been hospitalized for one week fighting COVID-19 and feeling isolated, found comfort in telehealth sessions. They provided him with a sense of normalcy that enabled him to heal faster than they would have without them.
Angel Foss, a lead music therapist at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland, Ohio, is using telehealth technology to bring her skillsets to COVID-19 patients through virtual sessions. She and her colleagues have found that these sessions not only benefit the patients themselves but also their families.
They have also demonstrated success in relieving patient anxiety and elevating their spirits. Studies indicate that music therapy has immediate positive impacts on heart rates, oxygen saturation levels and patient satisfaction scores.
Telehealth sessions provide patients with an alternative to in-person interactions, allowing them to connect with their music therapists remotely through an iPad stand and Bluetooth speaker. According to a pilot study at UH Samaritan Medical Center, these remote interactions have been found to decrease feelings of loneliness and anxiety among long-term COVID survivors.
Music therapy has seen a meteoric rise in popularity as people cope with illnesses like COVID-19. Not only does it have therapeutic benefits, but its ability to bring people together provides comfort and assurance to those in need.