Nursing in Integrative Medicine and Nurses’ Engagement in Caring-Healing: A Discussion Based on the Practice and Study of Music Therapy and Nursing Care for Patients with Neurodegenerative Disorders

Nursing in Integrative Medicine and Nurses’ Engagement in Caring-Healing: A Discussion Based on the Practice and Study of Music Therapy and Nursing Care for Patients with Neurodegenerative Disorders

Chiyoko Inomata (Sapporo Medical University, Japan & Organization for Development of Integrative Medical Healthcare Systems – HAMANASU Music and Nursing Therapy Association, Japan) and Shin’ichi Nitta (Tohoku University, Japan & Organization for Development of Integrative Medical Healthcare Systems – HAMANASU Music and Nursing Therapy Association, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2196-1.ch025
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Abstract

In 2008, the authors’ team started an ongoing project to administer music therapy sessions for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Studies were made conducted from the “caring” perspective to evaluate the effects of music therapy on the mental health of the patients (Inomata, 2008a, Inomata 2008b) and on the role of nurses in integrative medicine (Inomata, 2008c). On the basis of the findings from these studies, music therapy programs were designed and conducted to meet the different needs of various neurodegenerative diseases. This project was the first ever reported music therapy initiative undertaken as a multi-disciplinary collaborative work and in partnership with a patients’ group (Saji, 2010). The findings from four years of running the project are summarized as follows: (1) Music therapy helped maintain/improve the QOL(Quality of Life) level of neurodegenerative disease patients, which would otherwise deteriorate with the progress of symptoms; (2) There was an improvement in the patients’ psychological and spiritual health as exemplified by the expansion of consciousness and rebuilding of relationships; (3) The project increased the feeling of partnership among the multi-disciplinary team members; (4) Care providers shared values such as self-belief and respect for both the self and others; (5) Caring for patients’ emotional side by being compassionate and staying with them and/or listening to them resulted in a stronger care provider-patient bond; (6) Nurses were engaged in the building a healing environment as “healers,” and the patients found more hope in everyday life.
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Promotion Of Integrative Medicine And The Strategic Role Of Nurses

Since music therapy would help PD patients regain social health and have positive effects on their psychological and mental health, music therapy programs that could additionally help enhance the patients’ physical health should be developed.

First, various initiatives should be taken to encourage active participation of patients in music therapy to enhance their holistic health. There are many patients who are interested in music therapy but who have not decided to participate; more opportunities should be available to distribute this information to these patients. Moreover, the importance of designing patient-specific music therapy programs should be considered in music therapy projects. More generally, actions should be taken to increase social awareness regarding health enhancement schemes and activities.

For nurses, who are care professionals involved in health assessment, care management and administrative service management, among other things, the development of a holistic health care scheme should be considered one of their key responsibilities for patient care. To promote the integration of music therapy and/or other CAMs in the health enhancement programs in health care and welfare settings, it is important for everyone involved to understand the role of music therapy in integrative medicine. Nurses and other medical professions are expected to play a leading role in this respect, as well as in introducing a holistic health assessment scheme for patients and making patient-focused music therapy programs.

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