Experiences of music therapy in paediatric palliative care from multiple stakeholder perspectives: A systematic review and qualitative evidence synthesis

Victoria Kammin, Lorna Fraser, Kate Flemming, Julia Hackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families need physical and emotional support to manage the challenges of their lives. There is a lack of synthesised qualitative research about how music therapy is experienced by children, young people and their families supported by paediatric palliative care services.

AIM: To systematically identify and synthesise qualitative research on experiences of music therapy in paediatric palliative care from stakeholder perspectives.

DESIGN: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis was conducted using Thematic Synthesis. The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42021251025).

DATA SOURCES: Searches were conducted with no dates imposed via the electronic databases PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED and CINAHL in April 2021 and updated in April 2022. Studies were appraised for quality using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool (CASP).

RESULTS: A total of 148 studies were found, 5 studies met the eligibility criteria reporting the experiences of 14 mothers, 24 family members and 4 staff members in paediatric palliative care. There were five overarching themes: emotional and physical reprieve, opportunity for normalised experiences, thriving despite life limited condition, enhance family wellbeing and therapeutic relationship central to outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Music therapy provides unique benefits for this paediatric population particularly in supporting child and family wellbeing. The therapeutic relationship, interpersonal skills of the therapist and experience in paediatric palliative care are perceived as central to these positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-378
Number of pages15
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Palliative Care/psychology
  • Music Therapy
  • Family
  • Qualitative Research

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