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Health – Reuters


Drum Sessions Protect Employees from Burnout
By Alison McCook

New York (Reuters Health) – Participating in drum sessions may help people defend themselves from the stress and burnout that can cause them to leave their jobs, according to the findings of a new study.

All study participants were employees at a nursing home, an industry with an unusually high turnover rate. When Staff at one Pennsylvania facility participated in six drumming sessions with their co-workers they experienced a nearly 50-percent improvement in mood, including a decrease in feelings of fatigue, anxiety and depression.

Moreover, during the year following the drumming sessions, 49 fewer employees resigned than the previous year, saving the facility nearly$400,000 in costs associated with training new staff.

These findings suggest that incorporating drumming sessions into the lives of employees can be a cost-effective means of helping workers and reducing turnover. Study author Dr. Barry Bittman said.

“We’re not just talking about long term care, there’s no reason this wouldn’t work in other contexts as well. Workers in long term care typically exhibit a turnover rate estimated at between 40 and 100 percent per year, which research shows is largely a result of emotional factors, such as burnout”

Dr. Bittman is based at the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Immediately after the sessions were completed, people showed a 46 percent improvement in mood. Six weeks after the sessions ended, the same people showed a more than 62 percent improvement in mood, suggesting that emotional boost can continue long after the music has ended.

According to Bittman, making music may bring people together better than other group activities, such as group retreats or team sports, because it is more cost-effective and accessible to people of all physical abilities. Furthermore, music may inspire more openness to others by asking people to adopt “a level of communication they weren’t accustomed to”.