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Bradt Receives NIH Grant to Study Vocal Music Therapy for Chronic Pain Management

August 1, 2012

Joke Bradt, PhD, has received a National Institute of Nursing Research grant for her study entitled “The Effects of Vocal Music Therapy on Core Outcomes in Chronic Pain Management.”

These funds will be used to evaluate the impact of an 8-week vocal music therapy treatment program on core outcomes in patients with chronic pain at 11th Street Family Health Services. The specific outcomes that Bradt will assess include patients’ physical functioning, self-efficacy, pain level, emotional functioning, as well as their healthcare consumption.

Existing research on the use of music for pain management has primarily focused on listening to pre-recorded music. While it is true that listening to music can function as a distractor or relaxing agent, Bradt’s clinical experience indicates that patients’ active engagement in music therapy enlists added components of effective pain management. Bradt’s study will be the first randomized controlled trial to examine the benefits of vocal music therapy for chronic pain management, making her research pivotal in the field.

Bradt is an associate professor in the Creative Arts Therapies department as well as a part-time music therapist at 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, where she coleads a weekly chronic pain management group as well as provides music therapy services to patients.