16 May 2018 - 10:38
WCM-Q explores healing power of music
DOHA: The potential for music therapy approaches to improve patient health and wellbeing were explored at a continuing medical education workshop held at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).
The event featured lectures by expert speakers who gave a brief history of music therapy, discussed the effect of music on the brain, and described the application of music therapy interventions in clinical practice.
Attendees also took part in an interactive workshop to learn how music therapy can be an effective treatment intervention to help clients deal with trauma and chronic illness, and how playing music or musical instruments can provide psychological relief and an inner resource for people to positively confront their ongoing illness.
Expert speakers at the event included, Dr Aicha Hind Rifai, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, who discussed music therapy in clinical practice.
Dr Rifai said, “Music therapy is currently a scientifically approved treatment for the following conditions: depression with anxiety; Parkinson’s disease to treat gait, speech and swallowing problems; schizophrenia to decrease hallucinations, delusions and apathy, and to improve mood, cognition and quality of life; and finally for sleep problems.
“Patients suffering from any of the above conditions should be routinely referred for music therapy either as a main treatment or in addition to the standard medical treatment they are receiving.”
The symposium, entitled Music Therapy and Healing, was part of WCM-Q’s ongoing Lives in Medicine series, which explores interactions between art, medicine and healing. Previous events have examined medicine and the visual arts, the medical humanities, and narrative medicine.
The event also featured Dr Waseem Kotoub, a professional concert pianist, composer and medical doctor. Dr. Kotoub, who trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, has used music therapy with autistic children to aid the development of communication skills. He also established what is believed to be the first music therapy centre in the MENA region.
Dr. Khotoub gave a joint presentation about the history of music therapy alongside Dr Alan Weber, WCM-Q’s visiting professor of English. The event was accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).