First-ever survey measures satisfaction with music therapy
Music Therapists who work on Richmond Hospital’s Psychiatric Inpatient Unit are embarking on a first-in-Canada initiative: They’re conducting a patient satisfaction survey to gather input about the program they provide.
According to Angie Ji, a music therapist at Richmond Hospital, similar studies in the United States have found high levels of satisfaction with music therapy. Ji hypothesizes that the Canadian survey results will be similar because she sees the power of music every day.
“I see it in body language and facial expressions,” she said. “Someone will come in very agitated and distressed. When they listen to the music their body and face will relax and for a short time they will find solace and peace. Patients often tell me they are really looking forward to a music therapy session.”
Two types of music therapy
For people in psychological distress, music can be a soothing and comforting form of therapy.
Ji and her colleagues offer two types of music therapy sessions to patients: active or receptive. Active therapy means engaging with the music—singing, playing an instrument or moving the body. Receptive therapy may involve just sitting or lying still and listening, which helps patients relax.
This first-ever patient survey is not trying to prove that music therapy results in better patient outcomes.
“We’re just trying to get a sense of levels of satisfaction at this point,” Ji added. “But, I can say that when patients are engaged in services, when they’re feeling more satisfied with treatment, they may feel happier and they’re prone to do better in their recovery.”
Results will inform future practice
The satisfaction survey is expected to be completed this year. The patient input received will guide programming decisions and resource allocation and help music therapists improve their work.