Art and health


Sector: Art and health Ongoing Country: Switzerland Project status: Ongoing Partner: Fondation Privée des HUG
©Fondation HUG
Project type: AMG Project Year: 2019
Locations: Geneva
Activities: Music-therapy


The project aims at introducing music-therapy, as a complementary practice to the traditional, interdisciplinary therapeutic treatments, in the pediatric intensive care unit of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG) so as to reduce, through the creative and non-verbal mediation of music, the pains and fears of the young patients who, since their hospitalization, are plunged into a reality where the mechanical dynamics of reanimation, respiratory assistance and constant medical care treatments replace the emotions, the feelings and life itself.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Humanize the hospital experience and allow young patients to build a space of autonomy and freedom, from where recover their identity;
  • Reactivate their creative skills and allow them to start a Post-Traumatic Resilience Process;
  • Improve the medical work environment, and reduce the stress of doctors, paramedics and nurses;
  • Transform music-therapy into a complementary therapy to the traditional interdisciplinary medical treatments and make it sustainable inside the Unité des soins intensifs pédiatriques des HUG.


  • 73 children with congenital heart diseases or suffering from cardiovascular diseases, ages 18 months-13 years, primarily coming from Africa and participating to the program “Voyage vers la vie”, led by Fondation Terre des hommes;
  • 37 children in long-term care at HUG, and suffering from serious and degenerative pathologies.


Between April 2019-May 2020, the project, with Alta Mane support, foresaw 439 effective music-therapy sessions (for a total of 432 hours) tailored to the needs, abilities and socio-cultural specificity of the young patients. During this period, the sessions reached 37 children in long-term care at HUG and suffering from degenerative pathologies, and 73 children with congenital heart diseases or suffering from cardiovascular illnesses participating to the program “Voyage vers la vie” led by Fondation Terre des hommes. In parallel, several interdisciplinary meetings (1 hour per week) took place intended to the medical and nursing staff. These meetings allowed the music-therapist to adapt his sessions to the evolution of the clinical picture of the young patients as well as permitted the medical staff to adjust the medical care to the variations of stress and anxiety levels of the patients themselves.


Fondation Privée des Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG): established in 2007, the Foundation supports the HUG and the Faculté de Médecine of the University of Geneva (the two institutional founders) by financing the development of innovative and ambitious projects: i. in favor of patients (improvement of the quality of health care and assistance); ii. in the field of medical research (translational and fundamental research); iii. humanitarian projects.