Alegent Health has teamed up with Grammy-winning musician Chip Davis to study the healing power of music.
Over the next six to 12 months doctors will study the effects of a new technique called "ambient therapy" on patient health, recovery experience and satisfaction.
The $1.5 million research project, which was announced earlier this week, will involve 245 spine surgery patients at Alegent Health's Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.
The therapy uses a portable console and accompanying surround sound system. What plays is a combination of music and nature sounds.
"Previous studies have shown that stress and anxiety can interfere with the body's own powerful healing process," said Wayne Sensor, chief executive officer of Alegent Health. "We may have a therapy that can help relieve the effects of postoperative stress and confinement and enhance recovery."
Davis is trying to apply his knowledge of music and electronic technology to medicine through a venture called Ambience Medical. He created, composed and recorded the soundtrack for the therapy.
"My basic goal with this sonic experience is to use sounds from the natural environment to help patients regain their sense of well-being, reduce medication and readjust to the rhythm of day and night," Davis said. "The study will include both quantitative and qualitative measures to determine whether we're achieving these results."
The project will measure patient pain, mood, stress levels, sleep and overall satisfaction with the hospital stay.
Michigan State University, the Nebraska Spine Center, the University of Miami School of Medicine, Northwest Anesthesia and Boys Town National Research Hospital are also involved in the study.