music therapy

Research on the cost-effectiveness of music therapy

The American Music Therapy Association has a great document highlighting the research done on the cost-effectiveness of music therapy.  

One study focused specifically on music therapy with home hospice and revealed that patients in the music therapy program yielded a cost benefit ratio of 0.95 per day. The average overall costs for patients in the music therapy program was $3,615 less than those in standard care. Romo, R. & Gifford, L. (2007). A Cost-benefit analysis of music therapy in a home hospice. Nursing Economics, 25(6), 353-358.

A second study showed that for the total expenditure of $57,600, the Florida State University affiliated music therapy/Arts in Medicine protocol in the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital reveal a total outlay for two partners of $17,247, or 70.1% of total savings. Standley, J. & Walworth, D. D. (2005). Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Total Program, in J. Standley (Ed.), Medical Music Therapy, 33-40. Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy

And finally, the results of procedural-support music therapy in the healthcare setting showed:

  • the application of music therapy had 100% success rate of eliminating the need for sedation for pediatric patients receiving EEG, and 80.7% success rate for pediatric CT scan without sedation, and a 94.1% success rate for all other procedures.
  • the cost analysis resulted in that the total cost per patient with music therapy was $13.21 and $87.45 for patients without music therapy, which results in a net savings of $74.24
  • the project resulted in saving 184 RN-hours for other duties, which addresses the concern of a nationwide shortage on RNs.

Walworth, D. D. (2005). Procedural-support music therapy in the healthcare setting: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 20(4), 276-84.

Another report not included on AMTA’s list is that of Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL™) technology based on research conducted by Jane Standley, PhD.

Through a 5-year study conducted from 2001-2006 in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, University of Georgia Hospital at Athens, University of North Carolina Medical Center, and Florida Hospital Orlando, the use of PAL™ I (prototype) has shown an average 5 day reduction in the length of stay for NICU infants. This translates into a cost savings of $10,000 ($2,000 day) per infant for the hospital.

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