A recent collaboration between GOSH and Chiltern Music Therapy, funded by the Peterson Family Foundation, has resulted in a new music therapy service joining the Play department, to provide care for children from 0-17 years. Patients seen are from 14 wards, specialties including Oncology-Haematology, Immunology, Neurosciences, Cardiac, and Respiratory. This family-centred service aims to meet a wide range of patient needs including socio-emotional, developmental, cognitive, physical, and communicative. Alongside providing care, the service aims to understand the impact of music therapy on patient outcomes as well as on patient, family and staff experience. Specific tools, such as Goal-Based Outcomes (GBOs), are being used to gather outcomes related to individual aims for a sample of children accessing the service. In order to understand patient, family and staff experience, evidence is gathered through the use of service-tailored questionnaires. Feedback cards are also being used to gather the first-hand experience of children, young people, and their families through written or drawn responses.
Initial results suggest that the music therapy service is having a positive impact on patients and families, e.g.
increase in engagement during treatment and care.
While these responses are positive and suggest the potential of music therapy to provide care for patients and families within a multi-disciplinary team, the inherent challenges of clinician-administered data collection and reporting, such as the timing (and allocation of adequate time) of the data collection, ensuring a sensitivity to and priority of patient and family care and needs, and addressing the potential bias in self-administered feedback, are important to consider.
Data collection is ongoing, but the poignancy and breadth of responses received so far speak to the value of using qualitative outcome measures in order to better understand patient and family experience.
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