Challenges to Music Therapy Programming: A Case Study of Innovation, Burden, and Resilience in United States Hospitals
The business of healthcare has grown exponentially in the past several decades to meet growing expectations of a consumer population subscribing to institutional healthcare. Simultaneously, there has been a growing trend toward holistic lifestyle, and healthier life choices. These culminating factors create greater demand on hospitals to provide services that are inclusive of both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment. The provision of integrative treatment options such as music therapy to meet this demand has become a competitive feature of corporate healthcare, yet full integration of music therapy is challenged in a myriad of ways.
The purpose of this study was to gain insight into challenges faced by 8 music therapy programs across the U.S., and the strategies employed by the respective directors/supervisors, in order to inform other programs facing similar challenges. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 directors/supervisors of 8 merited programs that either closed or had sustained substantial reduction in programming. Each interview spanned 3 thematic areas of query: Beginnings, Winds of Change, and Retrospective Introspection. Interview content, analyzed using the Listening Guide: A Voice-Centered Relational Method, divulged broad themes of innovation, internal and external burden, and resilience.
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