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.

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The Wishing Well  programme is part of a Feasibility Study at Arundel Community Hospital which asks 3 key questions:

  1. Can it be demonstrated that wellbeing has improved demonstrably for people with dementia through the introduction of the programme?
  2. Does live music-making reduce distressed behaviours in people with dementia in hospital settings?
  3. Does live music-making enhance the levels of interaction between patients with dementia and nursing staff?

Data collection ends in July 2017 and the results will be published in late Autumn 2017.

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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.”
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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.

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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.
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“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.

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CLADAC will be observing our practice at The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in 2017/18, and evaluating our interactions with children and families from a neurological perspective. What impact does music making have on children’s brains and emotional systems? We hope to share the evaluation in summer 2018.