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Live Harp Music 

Aragon, D., Farris, C., & Byers, J. (2002). The effects of harp music      in vascular and thoracic surgical patients. Alternative Therapies, 8(5),      52-60. 
     [Orlando Regional Med. Ctr.: A single 20-minute session of live harp music was effective in decreasing pain, anxiety and some physiological variable levels in a group of 17 cardiac and thoracic patients (within 3 days post-op).VAS scores measured pain and anxiety.] 

Briggs, T. (2003). Live harp music reduces anxiety of patients                     hospitalized with cancer. The Harp Therapy Journal, 1, 4, 15.
     [United Hospital, St. Paul, MN: Patients who received a 30-minute live harp music session experienced anxiety reduction, and decreased respiratory and heart rates as compared to a control group. Sample: 61 patients with cancer.] 

Williams, S. (2006). Harp beat affects heartbeat. The Harp Therapy         Journal, 11(1), 1,12. 
     [Carle Heart Ctr., Urbana, IL: Live harp music during cardiac electrophysiology studies decreased sinus node rate during music intervention in 14 subjects, who were consciously sedated. Effects lasted at least five minutes after intervention, and ectopy stopped as well. Chief of cardiac electrophysiology, Dr. Abraham Kocheril said “the effects of music were above and beyond any expected changes. The findings support Kocheril’s hypothesis that live harp music decreases sympathetic tone and also suggests that there may be augmented parasympathetic tone.” The study is ongoing.]

Live Harp Music & Animals 

Boone, A., & Quelch, V. (2003). Effects of harp music therapy on              canine patients in the veterinary hospital setting. The Harp Therapy          Journal, 8(2), 1, 4-5,15. 
     [Three groups of 32 canine patients received 60 minute sessions of harp therapy (Group 1: hospitalized less than 8 hrs.; Group 2: hospitalized longer than 8 hrs.; and Group 3: post-surgical patients). Visual measures of discomfort: restlessness, anxiety and respiration; all decreased during the harp therapy session. The control group displayed no such increase and, in fact, continued to increase in all three measures. The harp therapy group demonstrated a gradual decline in respiration rates over the on-hour in contrast to the control group – which remained unchanged during the same period. Both groups demonstrated a shallow trend in reduction of heart rate.] 

Live vs. Recorded Music 

Standley, J. (1992). Meta-analysis of research in music and medical              treatment. Effect size as a basis for comparison across multiple                dependent and independent variables. In R. Spintge & R. Droh (eds.)        MusicMedicine. St. Louis, MO: MMB Music, Inc. 
     [In 1986 Jayne Standley reviewed over 98 empirical studies on the effects of music in medical treatment. 30 of the studies were amenable to a comprehensive meta-analysis of characteristics and results. Despite the small number of live music studies available, the meta-analysis seemed to confirm that live music is more effective than recorded music. (Effect size live = 1.10 (N = 12); recorded 0.86 (N = 117).] 

Staneslow, S. (2006). Live music lulls newborns and slows heart rates.            The Harp Therapy Journal. Macungie, PA. Vol. 11, No. 1. pp.              14-16. 
     [Study performed by Dr. Shmuel Arnon, a neonatologist, to determine the impact of live music on newborns at Meir Hospital in the town of Kfar Saba, Israel. The study was designed to test the difference in reaction between live, recorded and no music for healthy, newborn babies and was conducted over a period of several months. The live music intervention had no significant effect on the physiological and behavioral parameters during the 30-minute therapy; however, at the 30-minute interval after the therapy ended, it significantly reduced heart rate, induced a deeper sleep and improved the behavioral score. Recorded music and no-music interventions had no significant effect on any of the tested parameters during all intervals.] 

Recorded Harp Music

Troxel, M. (2015). Harp sounds and heart rates: Use of therapeutic music and holistic intervention to improve intermediate nursery outcomes. The Harp Therapy Journal, 20(4), 1, 18. [56 percent of patients' heart rates decreased from pre-music to during music periods, and 55 percent decrease in heart rate from pre-music post-music periods. The average nurse stress level decreased from 4.9 during pre-Quiet Hour to 2.8 post-Quiet Hour, on a 10-point scale.]

Therapeutic Harp

Murphy, E.M., Nichols, J., Somkuto, S., Sobel, M., Schinfeld, J., Galante, G., Barmat, B.
(2011). Randomized trial of harp therapy in in vitro fertilization - embryo transfer study completed. The Harp Therapy Journal, 16(4), 1, 10.
[Harp therapy decreased patients' "state" or evidence-based anxiety and women in the control group had significantly higher state scores post transfer, thus demonstrating that harp therapy has an effect on acute levels of stress as assessed by psychological measures. The clinical pregnancy rate with IVF-ET transfer is typically less than 50 percent. Although not statistically significant, the clinical pregnancy rate in women receiving harp therapy.]

T. Briggs
(2014). Impact of healing touch with healing harp on inpatient acute care pain. The Harp Therapy Journal, 19(3), 6-7.
[Patients who received both harp therapy and healing touch had greater average pain/anxiety and severe severe/moderate pain reduction, between pre-and post-treatment, than those in the touch-only groups.]

J. Obermeyer (2016). Report of Therapeutic Harp Foundation research projects. The Harp Therapy Journal, 21(3), 1, 5, 14, 20.
[Therapeutic harp music was found to: distract from discomfort, increase relaxation and comfort, decrease anxiety, stress and restlessness.

Vibroacoustic Therapy (VAT)

Boyd-Brewer, C., & McCaffrey, R. (2004). Vibroacoustic sound              therapy improves pain management and more. Holistic Nursing              Practice, 18(3), 111-118. 
     [Excellent overview of the new sound technology that uses audible sound vibrations to reduce symptoms, invoke relaxation and alleviate stress in a variety of patient conditions. Traces development of VAT in Norway to development of vibroacoustic equipment and therapies in the US, which began with the Somatron company in 1985.] 

Butler, C., Butler, P. (1997). Physioacoutic therapy with cardiac                surgery patients. In Wigram T., and Dileo, C. eds. Music Vibration and Health. Cherry Hill, NJ: Jeffrey Books. 197-204. 
     [Heart surgeon Charles Butler, MD, PhD, and Penelope Johnson Butler, MD found significant patient benefits using a form of VAT (physioacoustic therapy) during recovery from cardiovascular surgery. Eight patients were studied. VAT intervention promoted the use of shorter-acting anesthetics and resulted in a decrease in the use of sedative and pain medication on these patients. The average ventilator-dependent time was reduced from 17 to 7 hours, time spent in the ICU was reduced from 36 to 18 hours, and the overall hospital stay was reduced from 9 days to and average of 5 days.] 

Patrick, G. (1999). The effects of vibroacoustic music on symptom             reduction: inducing the relaxation response through good vibration.             IEEE Engineer Med Biol., (March/April), 97-100. 
     [In his program, Dr. George Patrick, from the NIH, used a Visual Analog Scale and the Poppin Self-Reposting Scale for Tension and Relaxation to measure pre and post session intensity of pain and tension. The study included 272 patients with various diagnoses: cancer (97); heart, lung, and blood disorders (55); infectious diseases (54); mood disorders (32); and miscellaneous conditions (34). Patrick determined that an 8-minute pre-session orientation including a relaxation exercise and a 22-minute VAT session resulted in a cumulative reduction of pain and symptoms by 53%.] 

Williams, S. (1997). Interview with Olav Skille – VibroAcoustic Therapy.      The Harp Therapy Journal, 2(1), 8-10, 14. 
     [Olav Skille shares his story of the development of VAT and his insights. A pilot study outlines beneficial effects of VAT in treating functional dysmenhorrea.] 

Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy®

Dallas-Feeney, S. (2004). Pilot study demonstrates positive effects of         vibroacoustic harp therapy on heart rate variability. The Harp Therapy     Journal, 9(1), 1,4,6-7,9. 
     [Iin a pilot study of 10 subjects who received 15 minutes of VAHT, all reported some subjective decrease in pain/tension on a VAS at the end of the study. The average heart rate variability was assessed and shown to improve in all patients. The actual VAHT session period yielded the greatest improvement in the subject’s heart rate entrainment, compared to pre and post measures.] 

Milroy, M. (2013). Human biofield measurements before and after VAHT. The Harp Therapy Journal, 18(4), 10-14.
[In an informal study of GDV human biofield measurements of seven subjects, pre- and post-VAHT, 100 percent of the group showed improvement immediately after treatment, 63 percent showed noticeable improvement and 37 percent showed very significant improvement.]

Williams, S. (2005) Good Vibrations: Principles of vibroacoustic harp therapy. Macungie, PA: Silva Vocat Music. 
     [Comprehensive text covering of the development and practice of harp therapy, VAT and VAHT. Theoretical models, 20 very interesting case studies of clients who suffered from a variety of maladies (including fibromylagia, anxiety, RSD, Sjogren’s syndrome and tinnitus) and music are included.] 

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