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Music Therapy Practice Status and Trends Worldwide: An International Survey Study.

Abstract

Background

The field of music therapy is growing worldwide. While there is a wealth of country-specific information available, only a few have databased workforce censuses. Currently, little to no descriptive data exists about the global development of the profession.

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to obtain descriptive data about current demographics, practice status, and clinical trends to inform worldwide advocacy efforts, training needs, and the sustainable development of the field.

Method

Music therapists (N = 2,495) who were professional members of organizations affiliated with the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) served as a sample for this international cross-sectional survey study. A 30-item online questionnaire was designed, pilot tested by key partners, and translated into seven languages. Researchers and key partners distributed the online survey through e-mail invitations and social media announcements.

Results

Professional music therapists worldwide are well-educated, mature professionals with adequate work experience, who are confident in providing high-quality services primarily in mental health, school, and geriatric settings. Due to ongoing challenges related to recognition and government regulation of the field as an evidence-based and well-funded healthcare profession, most individuals work part-time music therapy jobs and feel underpaid. Yet, many music therapists have a positive outlook on the field's future.

Conclusions

Continued research and advocacy efforts, as well as collaborations with lobbyists, business consultants, and credentialing/licensure experts to develop progressive strategies, will be crucial for global development and sustainability of the field.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    University of Louisville and Music Therapy Consulting.

    Shenandoah University and World Federation of Music Therapy.

    Source

    Journal of music therapy 54:3 2017 Nov 01 pg 255-286

    MeSH

    Cooperative Behavior
    Credentialing
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Electronic Mail
    Employment
    Health Care Surveys
    Humans
    Internationality
    Language
    Licensure
    Music Therapy
    Pilot Projects
    Research Personnel
    Social Media

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28992203