Trend: Hospitals offer music to patients

Everyone enjoys a pleasant tune--but can it help sick patients heal? That's the bet some hospitals are making of late, bringing music to vulnerable patients in an effort to foster deeper sleep, ease trauma, lower blood pressure and improve mood. According to a 2007 survey of U.S. health facilities by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, along with the Joint Commission and Americans for the Arts, found that of 1,923 facilities surveyed, 35 percent offered some type of music for patients. This happens, in part, because music therapy has been shown by some studies to have some remarkable qualities, including promoting relaxation and reducing stress, fostering better sleep, improving stroke patients' memories and decreasing the amount of sedation some patients need. One group that seems to achieve special benefits is premature infants who, one study suggested, enjoy lower heart rates and fall asleep more easily when music is played for them for two hours.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this USA Today piece

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