Music Theory: A Nursing Intervention Essay

1375 words - 6 pages

The advancement of the nursing field depends on the continuation of research and the development of a theoretical knowledge base. Middle-range theories help improve nursing research and nursing practice by providing a testable hypothesis as a model for directing further research. “The Theory of Music, Mood and Movement (MMM) to Improve Health Outcomes” discusses the use of music as a method to increase activity levels, improve mood and enhance the overall health of the body. Studies using the MMM theory have been conducted to determine improvements in cardiovascular health, reducing depression, interventions in pain management, treatment of stroke victims and improving the overall care of cancer patients and older adults. The theory is a useful tool to further investigate potential benefits of music and health outcomes across all scopes of nursing practice.
The MMM theory was developed using international physical activity guidelines and the notion that music produces physiological and psychological changes within the body. According to the physical activity guidelines, in order to achieve health benefits it is recommended that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day, three to five times per week (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). Physical inactivity worldwide has led to an increase in chronic diseases. According to the World Health Organization, following these guidelines will improve symptoms of chronic disease such as hypertension, depression, anxiety, and obesity attributing to better overall health (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). It is therefore important to implement evidence-based strategies to encourage physical activity and improve care.
Throughout history music has been valued for its healing benefits and therapeutic uses. Music combines tones and sounds in succession to produce a composition having unity and continuity to evoke response within the listener (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). The MMM theory recognizes the five basic elements of music that are vital to conjure physiological and psychological responses in individuals.
Rhythm is the first element and is considered the most important when selecting music for specific therapeutic purposes. Rhythm captures the listener’s attention with its repeated sounds and silences, cueing movement of the body (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). The second element is Melody, which expresses a mood, idea or emotion over a broad spectrum. Melody can produce feelings of euphoria, calmness and happiness as well as extreme opposite feelings of sadness, anxiety and anger (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). Pitch, Harmony and Interval are the remaining three elements that link Rhythm and Melody, giving music its unique sound as well as stimulating a physical and emotional response.
Several studies have been conducted using the knowledge of music and its potential to reduce stress and anxiety. “Music: A Nursing Intervention” found through research that music as a nursing tool can...

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