Live bedside music in daily clinical practice of a surgical hospital ward among older patients: A controlled study design of an innovative practice

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OBJECTIVE: There is an increasing interest in the role of the arts, particularly music, in healthcare. Music seems an attractive non-pharmacological intervention for older patients to improve postoperative outcomes. Although live music elicits more meaningful responses from an audience than recorded music, the use of live music is still rare on hospital wards. In view of the positive effects of recorded music on older surgical patients, we designed, in collaboration with a conservatoire, an innovative practice named Meaningful Music in Health Care (MiMiC). The aim is to determine whether live bedside music implements into daily practice and allows improves patient outcomes.

METHOD: This manuscript provides an overview of a trial evaluating if live bedside music can improve postoperative outcomes in older patients. The MiMiC initiative is a non randomized controlled trial study among older surgical patients on three hospital wards. Live bedside music is performed by professional musicians, once a day for six or seven consecutive days. The primary outcome is experienced pain; secondary outcomes are anxiety, relaxation and physical parameters (heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygenation). Measurements of these variables are collected before the intervention, 30 min afterwards and again after three hours. Daily evaluations determine whether this innovative practice can be implemented in daily practice.

CONCLUSION: This manuscript describes a new practice, live bedside music by professional musicians, on surgical hospital wards aiming to improve patient outcomes. It offers a new field of interprofessional collaboration for the benefit of patients. Further research must be conducted focussing on patient outcomes, including cost-effectiveness and the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-963
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number6
Early online date31-Jan-2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2021


  • Older patients
  • Live bedside music
  • Hospital ward
  • Postsurgical care
  • Experienced pain
  • PAIN

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