Ray Leone ’86, ’17 MT-BC, was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) Graduate Research Award for his research, “The Impact of Two Music Therapy Interventions on Vital Signs, Pain, and Anxiety for Adult Patients in an ICU.”
“We do believe that this may be the largest study ever using live music in an ICU; this is from our research as to what is out there in the literature,” Leone said of the study, conducted at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. Leone’s study, which included 52 patients, has occurred as part of his second time around as a Shenandoah student. He graduated from Shenandoah in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre and then worked as a performer before going back to school for music therapy and certification at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Upon moving back to Northern Virginia two years ago, he entered Shenandoah’s master’s program in music therapy, from which he expects to graduate in December.
His award includes $1,000 to pay for statistics consultation and will be a featured presentation in the research track at the MAR American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April 2018. Leone is consulting with Associate Professor of Public Health Audra Gollenberg, Ph.D., in the public health program at Shenandoah University on the statistics, and she will help with the write-up of his results section. “Our initial findings are very positive and our stats are showing that music therapy was and can be beneficial for patients in an ICU, particularly in addressing anxiety and pain,” Leone said. “A majority of the patients in the study reported significantly lower self-reported anxiety and pain levels after a music therapy session. We also saw significance in the reduction of heart rate and respiratory rate after a music therapy session as well. Once this project is completed we will be submitting it for publication consideration in one of the critical care journals and/or music therapy journals.” From start to anticipated finish, the study will have taken approximately 18 months to complete, said Leone, who works as director of medical musical therapy at A Place To Be in Middleburg, Virginia, (whose director is Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Therapy Thomas Sweitzer MT-BC) and spends much of his time at Inova Loudoun providing and supervising music therapy services.