After 35 years as a music therapist, Anci Sandell can now present research findings showing that the therapy methods she uses, increases quality of life for people who are being treated for severe medical or psychosocial conditions. On February 22, she will defend her doctoral thesis "Musik för kropp och själ - Modell för interaktiv musikterapi" ("Music for Body and Soul - Model for Interactive Music Therapy") at the Nordic School of Public Health NHV. The defence will be held in Swedish.
It has previously been established within the research community that music and song can lead to reduced levels of stress hormones in children and that stroke patients often find it easier to express themselves through song rather than speech, as well as the fact that music with a clear pulse facilitates movement for patients with Parkinson's disease. New research findings now show that a methodical use of music for treatment purposes can serve as a soothing function in severe medical treatments and also have an identity-strengthening function in youths with severe psychosocial problems.
Anci Sandell has investigated the effects of music therapy within patients undergoing hospital treatment for psychiatric dysfunction, cancer or dialysis. She has also studied the impact of the therapy on cancer-stricken small children and on youths with severe psychosocial problems. The music therapy has been integrated into the other treatment and has taken place in close interaction between the therapist and the patient. The therapy has been individually adapted and contained both pre-recorded and improvised music, but there have also been elements of painted pictures and texts.