Comfort, Connection and Music: Experiences of Music Therapy and Inter-Active Listening on a Palliative Care Unit
Music therapy in palliative care aims to provide psychosocial support, assistance with pain and symptom management and opportunities for life review and legacy work. Although there have been a variety of studies conducted on the effects of music therapy in palliative care facilities, there is a gap in research examining the experience and feasibility of music therapy on acute palliative care units within cancer care settings. This qualitative study explored the lived experience of inter-active listening (IAL), an individualized music therapy in which the therapist plays music or sings while the patient engages through listening, for nine inpatients on a palliative care unit. The study found that a receptive music therapy referred to as IAL was associated, in cancer patients in an acute palliative care unit, with increased emotional and spiritual well-being and a greater sense of connection to self and others. Further research into specific effects of various music therapy intervention styles is warranted.
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