Evaluation and evidence
Available for free, these documents provide evidence, evaluation and insight into our work. Click the boxes to download.
We use a range of tools and methods to evaluate the impact of our work to help us understand, question and improve our practice.
Our evaluation demonstrates that music making delivered by trained professionals can help to reduce the anxiety and isolation that children, young people and older people with dementia can experience in hospital. Music making can restore a sense of self, increasing self-expression and agency.
We gather regular feedback from our participants and families, use staff surveys, observation tools and validated frameworks to capture a range of data about the difference our programmes make. We commission external evaluations and take part in NHS led research. For examples of these, please take a look at the boxes below.
We worked with Well Within Reach to better understand two areas. Firstly, how music-making interactions support a child’s developing brain and nervous system and secondly, the fundamental importance and impact of the musicians wellbeing on the vulnerable children that they work with. This evaluation report presents the key findings following a year of observations, training and discussions and offers a toolkit of research, frameworks and further reading that will be of interest to musicians, organisations and funders working to support wellbeing through creative interactions.
The evaluation process led to the creation of a Competency and Values framework, relating specifically to music in healthcare practice. We will use this as a reflective tool and training framework for established and emerging Musician in Healthcare.
This report by Programme Director, Jo White brings together data from surveys, observations and feedback to demonstrate the impact of our work.
In response to our staff survey:
- 100% of healthcare staff agreed that “live music interactions help to reduce anxiety on the ward”
- 96% of healthcare staff agreed that “live music interactions help to maintain family bonds on the ward”
- 100% of healthcare staff agreed that “Live music interactions help children on the ward to express themselves.”
Music helps children let out big feelings sideways; it helps them express how they feel and helps us build rapport with them. Instruments and simple music technology become vital means of communication to nonverbal children. This gives them a sense of choice and control which they may feel the lack of in the hospital environment. The music project gives us a way of asking families ”What matters to you” by engaging with through a non clinical intervention.
“The musicians all observed positive effects for the patients, consistent with research on the effects that music in children’s hospitals can have. These included enhancing cognitive abilities, communication skills, and physiological abilities. The parents/caregivers also responded positively to the music sessions, which is likely to have a positive effect on the child.” Dr Anneli Haake, BA (Hons), PCHE, PhD
The results suggest that:
- The Wishing Well programme has positive effects for patients, families and caregivers
- a balance is needed between welcoming staff’s assistance in prioritising which patients should take part in the music activities and allowing the musicians to use their expertise when approaching patients, in order to achieve the most positive outcome for patients
- opportunities for musicians to practice self-care are necessary
in order to avoid burn out’ and emotional trauma.
“These sessions are meaningful and person-centred to each
individual family member (resident). They help to encourage a sense of
connection to others and reality. A feeling of togetherness is
evoked. The music helps to provide relaxation, engagement,
empowerment, stimulation, emotional connections. It has been
an emotional, heart-warming, and highly enriching experience.
Please accept my sincere gratitude.” Gill Hume, Wellbeing team leader, Haviland House.