Schmid, W., Rosland, J. H., von Hofacker, S., Hunskår, I., & Bruvik, F | (2018) |
Patient’s and health care provider’s perspectives on music therapy in palliative care–an integrative review | BMC palliative care | Vol. 17. | 32 | Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-018-0286-4
An integrative review analysed the literature on music therapy in English, German or Scandinavian languages published in peer-reviewed journals between November 1978 and December 2016. The criteria for inclusion was music therapy with adults in palliative care conducted by a certified music therapist. This systematic literature review identified 12 papers, three quarters of these had taken a quantitative and the remainder a qualitative approach.
The researchers aimed to identify and discuss the perspectives of both patients and health care providers on music therapy’s (MT) impact in palliative care. They utilised an inductive, qualitative approach to analyse and categorize the data.
Although the majority of the quantitative studies, (7 out of 9) investigated pain as an outcome they also presented the positive effects of MT. The investigators conclude that a major theme in both types of research is a psycho-physiological change through music therapy. The study outcomes of individual MT as having a positive effect on some symptoms, as well as improving quality of life in the setting. While this review adds to existing research, it is an area that requires further research, and would particularly benefit from studies employing a mixed-methods approach.
The full document can be read at BMC Palliative Care
Despite recent advances in medicine, patients with advanced illness continue to report high rates of suffering due to psychoexistential concerns such as loss of function, meaninglessness and anxieties in relation to death and dying | BMJ Evidence-Based Nursing blog
Palliative care recognises the ‘total pain’ experienced by end-of-life patients and supports the use of adjunct complementary therapies to address aspects of patient suffering still outside the remit of medical science and technology.
Music therapy is frequently used as a palliative therapy and entails the use of music to achieve individual goals in the context of a therapeutic relationship with a professional music therapist. Aligning with the goals of palliative care, the primary aim of music therapy is to improve people’s quality of life by relieving physical and psychological symptoms, facilitating communication and alleviating spiritual or existential concerns.
However, there are currently no guidelines in place for the use of music therapy in palliative care. This highlights the need for a stronger evidence base that demonstrates both the benefits and risks to help inform future music therapy provision. To date, primarily because of a lack of robust research, the evidence for music therapy’s effectiveness on patient reported outcomes is positive but weak. Music therapy is an allied health profession and can help a wide range of people affected by illness and disability. It uses musical interaction, and creativity through music, to address a patient’s clinical needs – whether they are psychological, physical, emotional, cognitive or social.
Read the full blog post here