Music Improves Health

Ministry of Health, Sport, Youth and Culture ,
12 October 2014, Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ first ever music therapy practice has been changing the lives of patients in the Cayman Islands since 2010, and more recently, at the Cayman Islands Hospital note by note since July 2014. Funded by the Ministry of Health, Sports, Youth and Culture, this service is currently being offered at the Cayman Islands Hospital as a pilot programme.

Cayman Music Therapy (CMT) has assigned a therapist, who works with six to eight patients a week, depending on their needs.

Board-Certified Music Therapist Julianne Parolisi, founder and owner of Cayman Music Therapy explains that the programme is still relatively small.

“There is need and demand for much more than that so we are hoping that in the future, the budget will allow for more hours and we can serve more patients and their families,” Ms Parolisi stated.
 Programme funding presently allows only six hours of clinical service per week over the course of ten weeks. On a referral basis, the service is offered to persons admitted to inpatient wards at the hospital.

This includes patients diagnosed with: post-operation pain management, stroke, head injury, kidney failure/dialysis and heart disease.

Patients do not necessarily need to have a background in music to be good candidates for this type of therapy, she says. Therapists will work with each individual to tailor music that meets his or her clinical needs.

CMT therapists are often asked to visit patients who are on ventilators or are semi-conscious and may need assistance with relaxation.

To illustrate how music therapy is used, Kimberly Febres, the music therapist assigned to the pilot programme, tells the story of a recent patient who was very agitated and constantly trying to reach for her tubes, which negatively impacted her vital signs. After 30 minutes of live music therapy, the patient was resting comfortably and her vital signs had stablised.

Pleased with the outcome of the programme so far, Ms. Parolisi says, “We have almost completed the pilot, and I am happy to report that it has been going exceptionally well - with very high satisfaction from both patients and staff. The nurses seem to really understand how we can best assist them and direct us to the patients who can benefit most from our services.”

Minister for Health, Hon. Osbourne Bodden, commented, “The Ministry of Health is also the Ministry responsible for Culture. It is pleasing to see the evidence-based use of music interventions, music therapy being one of several of the arts therapies, being used to improve the health and experience of some of our patients at the Health Services Authority. I witnessed first-hand the joy and benefits brought to a patient through ‎only two sessions. The results were quite amazing and we (the Ministry of Health and HSA), will seek to make this a full time endeavour.”

Using music as a therapeutic device to increase patient satisfaction can help improve stress levels for patients as well as their caregivers.

For more information, please contact Cayman Music Therapy at [email protected]