Singing and Vocal Interventions in Palliative and Cancer Care: Music Therapists' Perceptions of Usage.
Music therapists in palliative and cancer care settings often use singing and vocal interventions. Although benefits for these interventions are emerging, more information is needed on what type of singing interventions are being used by credentialed music therapists, and what goal areas are being addressed.
To assess music therapists' perceptions on how they use singing and vocal interventions in palliative and cancer care environments.
Eighty credentialed music therapists from Canada and the United States participated in this two-part convergent mixed-methods study that began with an online survey, followed by individual interviews with 50% (n = 40) of the survey participants.
In both palliative and cancer care, singing client-preferred music and singing for relaxation were the most frequently used interventions. In palliative care, the most commonly addressed goals were to increase self-expression, improve mood, and create a feeling of togetherness between individuals receiving palliative care and their family. In cancer care, the most commonly addressed goals were to support breathing, improve mood, and support reminiscence. Seven themes emerged from therapist interviews: containing the space, connection, soothing, identity, freeing the voice within, letting go, and honoring.
Music therapists use singing to address the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual goals of patients, and described singing interventions as accessible and effective. Further research is recommended to examine intervention efficacy and identify factors responsible that contribute to clinical benefit.
University of Toronto.
Health Care Surveys
Interviews as Topic