The mission of the Silesian Centre of Rehabilitation in Ustron is best expressed by the statement "... The Silesian Centre of Rehabilitation is a hospital with a heart". It is not only for the fact that our hospital specialises in early rehabilitation of patients after heart attack, coronary bypass operations, expansion of coronary vessels or heart valve implantations. It is the "heart" - the warm personal approach, the holistic treatment of the patients' problems rather than limiting ourselves to treatment of injuries and focusing only on the physical condition of our patients that make us stand out from among health care institutions.
The hospital provides treatment for 136 patients at a time. Moreover, the hospital provides ample opportunities for treatment of outpatients.
The professional staff consists of specialists in the fields of medical rehabilitation, orthopaedics, rheumatology, internal deceases, and family medicine, as well as nurses, a diet expert and a psychologist.
Each patient undergoes a highly individualised course of rehabilitation, which is a result of comprehensive and detailed examination of the patient, carried out by means of modern diagnostic equipment. A vital element of rehabilitation is the health and psychological education, short term psychotherapy and music therapy.
The activities take place in the "Winter Garden" - a spacious room, which also houses lectures in health education ("The Health Academy") and various cultural events organised for the patients. The room is equipped with a tape recorder, a CD player, 2 wireless microphones, a quality sound system, a multi-media projector, an overhead projector, a screen, a piano, an accordion and a set of comfortable chairs for the patients. A typical therapy cycle consists of 15 sessions, which take place in the afternoon from Monday to Friday for the period of three weeks spent in the hospital. The patients are divided into 3 groups of 12 to 20 people. A therapeutic session typically takes up to 35 minutes. Sessions of music therapy are ‘obligatory'. They are treated equally with other kinds of therapy such as physical workouts or physical therapy which are recorded in the card of therapy.
Main goals of music therapy:
The programme includes the following elements:
Patients are requested to follow a few basic rules for the common benefit of the therapeutic group. Punctuality is essential, as opening and closing the doors after the session has started distract the participants of therapy and makes it less effective, especially in the Shultz method and the visualization techniques. The participants are also requested not to talk during the therapy sessions.
Choosing the repertoire for a given session we pay special attention to it that the musical pieces are varied in style, that the melodies are not excessively complicated or dissonant. We aim to keep the music perceptively accessible. We mostly make use of instrumental music - classical (both original and transcribed for other instruments) jazz, film music (particularly suitable for development of musical imagination), electronic and entertainment music arranged for such instruments as pan flute, Hawaiian guitar, flute, trumpet, saxophone and piano.
We make sure that every patient has their say during discussions about music. Some patients tend to become quite talkative under the influence of musical pieces from the beginnings of the second half of the 20th century, which bring back memories of their early years.
The effectiveness of music therapy is hard to be measured by means of scientific methods due to a high level of subjectivity of musical experience. In order to find out about the patients' experience of the therapeutic sessions, what they liked and what they didn't like, their musical preferences and their expectations we have prepared a special questionnaire, which can bee seen below. Patients responses to the survey questions are of great value to us in the therapy planning. It serves as an indication for us as to what should be kept, what should be changed, how to meet the patients' expectations without neglecting the therapeutic value of the sessions.
There were a few more men (57%) taking part in the survey than women (43%). The tables show that most women taking part in the survey are in the age group 50 - 60, while most men fall into the age group 60 - 70. The patients' favourite kinds of music are: entertainment music (34%) and the music of the 60s and 70s (32%). The operetta is less popular with the patients (16%) as well as classical music (11%). The respondents could also write in a separate rubric their favourite kinds of music which were not listed in the question options. Here the respondents frequently named merry-making music, ethnic music, opera, relaxing music, and other kinds such as blues, country, disco-polo, jazz, sung poetry and rock.
In subsequent tables we can see the patients' level of satisfaction with the sessions of music therapy. Here the responses were divided in the following way: 5 - 47%, 4 - 34%, 3 - 15%, 2 - 2%, 1 - 2%. The most valued activities during the sessions were: common singing (31%), listening to music (30%) and accordion concerts (29%). Dancing was significantly less popular (10%). The results of the questionnaire will be taken into account in the process of therapy planning and elements of dancing will be offered only to those patients who will express their willingness to take part in this kind of activities. Furthermore, the patients were asked to express their subjective opinion about the benefits from taking party in music therapy. A significant number of patients (44%) name the enhancing of their general psycho-physical condition, 23% of patients mention the awakening of musical imagination and 17% point to better interactions with other people as the benefits of the therapy.
Generally the patients' responses suggest that the main objectives of the music therapy sessions have been achieved: the therapy leads to relaxation and reduction of inner tensions, it brings about an improvement in the general psycho-physical condition, it helps to forget about the discomforts caused by the disease, it lifts up the spirits and deepens relationships between the patients.
The photographs below where taken during the music-therapy sessions.
In order to further improve the present formula of music therapy in our hospital we are planning to arrange for a separate room for relaxation with the sounds of music in the background.
Mucha, Sebastian & Eysymontt, Zbigniew (2005). Music Therapy in the Silesian Centre of Rehabilitation in Ustron. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://testvoices.uib.no/?q=country/monthpoland_august2005_2