Services: Adult through Geriatric
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder, characterized
primarily by chronic anemia and periodic episodes of pain. The
clinical course of sickle cell disease does not follow a single pattern;
some patients have mild symptoms, and some have severe symptoms. However,
in all cases the sickle-shaped red blood cells tend to get stuck in narrow
blood vessels. When this occurs, it is often accompanied by acute pain
crisis. (Source: http://www.ascaa.org/what_is.htm
American Sickle Cell Anemia Association)
Music Therapy and Sickle Cell Disease
As pain is a predominant feature associated with sickle cell
crisis, pain management is a primary focus of music therapy services provided.
Additional goals of care address psychosocial issues related to coping
with chronic illness, which is especially important as reducing levels
of emotional stress can help to reduce physical pain and prevent a sickle
cell crisis. A medical music psychotherapy approach is to address physiological
symptoms of pain and the conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings
of patients with chronic and acute pain. Clinical improvisation provides
an alternative, nonverbal means of release for a patient in pain. Active
music listening techniques including music visualization, redirection
and music-assisted relaxation may reduce the perception of pain as well
as decrease stress.
Our expert team of music therapists is trained to offer the most current
medical music psychotherapy techniques in pain management, sedation and
breathing modalities of music and healing. Music therapy sessions may
include live improvisation, drumming, gong and vibration, toning, guided
visualization, song writing, song sensitation and music meditation with
the guidance of a music therapist.
Clinical Services currently available can include a range of experiences:
- Music therapists provide monthly support group sessions for outpatient
adults with sickle cell disease. The group gathers once a month to share
the experience of living with sickle cell anemia and to explore the
healing properties of music for pain-reduction, tension release and
stress-reduction to improve quality of life by creating meaningful musical
- During hospitalization due to a sickle cell crisis, music therapy
services are also provided in individual bedside sessions to provide
continuity of care.
- Group members also participate in integrative multi-modal projects
that include the use of art, writing, photography, and body movement.
The group has the opportunity to share these projects and their work
with creative arts modalities with the community during open functions.
Related Research and Articles
For articles from peer-reviewed journals, research studies and
authoritative literature, please see the bibliographies in the Suggested
Reading section. Additional information is available through Websites
listed on the Related Links page.
For Questions and Further Information
For questions and further information about music therapy or
referrals for yourself, your loved ones or your patients, please call
(212) 420-2704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.