Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Playlists as a Novel Personalised Music Intervention in Public Healthcare Settings in New South Wales, Australia

T. Dimopoulos-Bick
K. E. Clowes
K. Conciatore
M. Haertsch
R. Verma
J. F. Levesque


Listening to personalised music is a simple and low-cost intervention with expected therapeutic benefits, including reduced agitation, stress responses and anxiety. While there is growing evidence for the use of personalised music as a therapeutic intervention, there has been little investigation into processes and strategies that would support the implementation of playlists. The aim of this study was to identify the perceived barriers and facilitators to implementing personalised playlists on a large scale in public healthcare settings. A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate the feasibility of the intervention in 21 different acute, sub-acute and primary healthcare settings in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, between June 2016 and June 2017. Data collection included 153 survey responses (staff n=35, patients n=49 and family members n=69), six focus groups (staff n=21) and an analysis of 37 documents. Data sources were systematically categorised using a Policy Analysis Framework. Facilitators included the use of implementation leads and volunteers, a high level of staff engagement and the integration of music selection and playlist development into routine clinical practice. Barriers included ongoing and unexpected funding, time to prepare playlists and staff turnover. The results from this study support the feasibility and acceptability of implementing playlists in different healthcare settings.