From Cacophony to Calm: Music therapy from the perspective of a person living with chronic pain




music therapy, chronic pain, client perspective, service user perspective, patient public involvement


Service user perspectives are relatively rare in published research on music therapy. This paper focuses on the perspective of a person living with chronic pain, Tricia, and her experience of music therapy and being involved in music therapy research. She reflects on her music making in the sessions and how she uses music outside of therapy. This is followed by reflections from her music therapist and a review of how service user perspectives can inform knowledge and practice. The paper concludes with recommendations for future music therapy services arising from Tricia’s experience and advocates for the inclusion of service user voices in future research. It is hoped that music therapists, clients, other healthcare partitioners, and anyone interested in music therapy will find this paper gives an interesting insight into one person’s experience of music therapy for chronic pain.

Author Biographies

Patricia O'Shea

Patricia is a retired Primary School Physical Education Teacher and PPI member with a BSc. in Health and Fitness.

Professor Hilary Moss, Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

Hilary Moss is an Associate Professor and Course Director of the MA in Music Therapy at the University of Limerick, Ireland.





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