Music therapy as a treatment method can help people suffering from chronic pain
In Sörmland, Sweden, music therapy is offered as a method of treatment for people living with chronic pain. Currently, the effects of what is known as the FMT method are being investigated through a research project at MDU.
In the FMT method, (Functionally oriented Music Therapy), music experiences and movement are combined with the purpose of contributing to a person’s well-being and recuperation. During the treatment, a therapist assesses what basic functions the participant needs to develop, and with the help of musical instruments such as drums and cymbals in various formations, different movements in the body are stimulated. Today, the treatment is given through a healthcare agreement in Sörmland.
In a current research project which has been launched at MDU, researchers wish to investigate whether it is possible to find scientific evidence that the FMT method is effective in increasing well-being, improving quality of life, and if and in what way it can relieve suffering and pain in people who live with chronic pain.
“I believe it is essential to evaluate health-promoting alternative methods in the area of chronic pain, as many people in society suffer from this. This project aims to explore and evaluate an up until now unexplored treatment method for people living with long standing pain,” says Helena Lööf, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at MDU.
The method contributed to recovery
The backdrop to the project is a pilot study which showed that the FMT method helped people affected by stroke and Parkinson's disease to recover better.
“Pain is the most common reason for seeking primary care services. Therefore in this way, many people are affected and from a societal standpoint it is good to have a variety of support efforts. This is in line with person-centred healthcare.”
Scientific evaluation needed
“Through a care agreement with a FMT treatment centre in Eskilstuna, this method is already being used in primary care in Sörmland. But the method is not evidence-based, which is why a scientific evaluation is needed. We will evaluate the effects of FMT in people suffering from chronic pain in comparison with the standard care that is provided in local healthcare. We also wish to create a deeper understanding of the importance of music and movement in recovery.”
Today, FMT is used in habilitation, rehabilitation and psychiatric healthcare.
“If the results of the project are positive, that is, if evidence can be found that various aspects of health are affected or improved, these can be used as evidence-based support for health promotion purposes for people suffering with chronic pain.”
“And on the other hand, if the results show that FMT has no or only a minor effect, this is in itself an important contribution to new knowledge about treatment and recovery for these people. Our research team is looking forward to investigating this over the next few years,” says Helena Lööf.