Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


John J. Cali School of Music

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Karen Goodman

Committee Member

Leah Oswanski

Committee Member

Andrew Rossetti


One reported strategy towards effective interdisciplinary collaboration for optimal patient care is through understanding the purpose and roles of the other disciplines on the health care team. In comparison to disciplines such as nursing, music therapy is a more recent discipline that has been added to hospice interdisciplinary teams. The purpose of this study was to discover how hospice clinicians perceive the role of music therapy in end of life care. A multiple-select choice survey was conducted asking 15 hospice clinicians their feedback on the following music therapy topics: reasons for referrals, benefits of music therapy, music therapy interventions, and how music therapy knowledge was acquired. The most common way participants learned about music therapy was by directly working with a music therapist, with 13 responses. Frequent reasons for referrals that resulted in at least 12 responses were to address isolation and to manage anxiety/agitation. One hundred percent of the participants selected that music therapy helps hospice patients by decreasing anxiety/agitation and improving mood. All 15 participants selected that a music therapy intervention can involve a music therapist and patient singing patient preferred music together. Despite few responses of answer choices that did not fully convey the role of music therapy (ex: referred music therapy to provide entertainment), the majority of participants in this study demonstrated a clear understanding of music therapy’s purpose in hospice. Learning other clinicians’ perceptions can be an important step towards improving effective interdisciplinary collaboration. Implications of the results from the survey are further discussed.

File Format


Included in

Music Therapy Commons