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Music therapy for palliative care: A realist review.

McConnell, T. and Porter, S., 2017. Music therapy for palliative care: A realist review. Palliative and Supportive Care, 15 (4), 454-464.

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Realist Review RESUBMISSION.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1017/S1478951516000663


OBJECTIVE: Music therapy has experienced a rising demand as an adjunct therapy for symptom management among palliative care patients. We conducted a realist review of the literature to develop a greater understanding of how music therapy might benefit palliative care patients and the contextual mechanisms that promote or inhibit its successful implementation. METHOD: We searched electronic databases (CINAHL, Embase, Medline, and PsychINFO) for literature containing information on music therapy for palliative care. In keeping with the realist approach, we examined all relevant literature to develop theories that could explain how music therapy works. RESULTS: A total of 51 articles were included in the review. Music therapy was found to have a therapeutic effect on the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual suffering of palliative care patients. We also identified program mechanisms that help explain music therapy's therapeutic effects, along with facilitating contexts for implementation. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Music therapy may be an effective nonpharmacological approach to managing distressing symptoms in palliative care patients. The findings also suggest that group music therapy may be a cost-efficient and effective way to support staff caring for palliative care patients. We encourage others to continue developing the evidence base in order to expand our understanding of how music therapy works, with the aim of informing and improving the provision of music therapy for palliative care patients.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Music therapy; Palliative care; Realist review
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:26349
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:25 Jan 2017 10:22
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:02


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