An ethical dilemma
In many psychiatric hospitals, there are one or more lockable rooms. For therapeutic or safety reasons, patients may be placed for a few hours or even a few days in these so-called "intensive care rooms" (ICS). The idea is that the resulting reduction in sensory stimulation allows them to regain control of their psychological state and behaviour.
However, the use of ISCs is highly controversial. On the one hand, it raises ethical issues because it infringes on patients' freedom of movement and autonomy; on the other hand, the therapeutic function of the measure is not clearly established. Finally, isolation makes it difficult to establish a caring relationship based on dialogue.
The contribution of music
These findings suggest that the care offered in ISCs needs to be rethought. The use of music is a promising avenue, especially if patients can manage their own musical listening and regain a certain degree of autonomy.
The "amenhotep" action-research (2012-2016) enabled an interdisciplinary team of medical and nursing professionals from the Centre Hospitalier du Nord Vaudois (CPNVD), as well as researchers from the Haute Ecole de santé du canton de Vaud (HESAV), the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne (HEMU) and the Haute Ecole d'Ingénierie et de gestion du canton de Vaud (HEIG) to develop a music listening system that complies with the very strict safety rules of acute psychiatry services and a choice of music pieces categorized according to their emotional content.
A research project
Currently, the research team is continuing its work and studying the impact of the musical device on the subjective experiences of patients and caregivers, as well as on the relationships and interactions that are established between them around music [more