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Harp Music & IVF Study

Harp Therapy Study (this is not a current study)

Infertility specialist Dr. Larry Barmat has completed the first ever Harp Therapy Study on infertile patients to prove that the merger of music and medicine helps soothe the soul, relieve patient stress and ultimately improve the outcome of in vitro fertilization embryo transfers.  The Harp Study is the first of its kind to evaluate the effect harp music has on assisted reproductive technologies.  In the past, studies have proven that harp therapy has a positive effect on stress and anxiety in patients, but these parameters have never been tested on infertile patients.

Dr. Larry Barmat understands the stress that goes along with infertility and wanting a baby.  Approximately fifteen percent of reproductive age couples face the emotional, financial and physical stressors of infertility and subsequent treatments.  Since the introduction of IVF in 1978, there have been dramatic improvements in the procedure and its outcomes.  However, there is still only a fifty percent chance that the IVF procedure will be a success.  In vitro fertilization involves the retrieval of eggs from a woman’s ovaries for fertilization of the eggs with the sperm in the laboratory.  After several days, embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus for implantation and pregnancy.

Dr. Barmat initiated the Harp Study with the help of an Innovator’s Circle grant from Abington Memorial Hospital. The Harp Study will help prove that alternative medicine, and specifically music therapy, continues to play an increasingly important role in western medicine.  Harp Therapy has been proven to have an overall positive effect on observed behaviors of premature infants.  Dr. Barmat and his team are hoping to prove that harp music has a similar profound effect on the IVF outcome, as well as the psychological and physiologic effects of the patient.  The Harp Study took approximately one year to complete.  The data is currently being analyzed and said to be available for publication by Spring 2010.

The Harp Study included all infertile women ages 21 – 44 who were undergoing IVF transfer and willing to participate.  The women were divided into a Harp Therapy group and a control group.  All patients had their blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate assessed before and after embryo transfer to determine their stress levels.  At the conclusion of the transfer, patients also completed a questionnaire about the study.

All IVF transfers occurred at the Toll Center for Reproductive Sciences.  The harpist is Gloria Galante, a certified music practitioner and music professor at West Chester University.  Ms. Galante is also the Advisor for the Music for Healing and Transition Program.  She has performed Harp Therapy for patients undergoing cancer therapies and surgical procedures.