Music therapy is associated with family perception of more spiritual support and decreased breathing problems in cancer patients receiving hospice care

Debra S. Burns, Susan M. Perkins, Yan Tong, Russell E. Hilliard, Larry D. Cripe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context Music therapy is a common discretionary service offered within hospice; however, there are critical gaps in understanding the effects of music therapy on hospice quality indicators, such as family satisfaction with care. Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine whether music therapy affected family perception of patients' symptoms and family satisfaction with hospice care. Methods This was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of electronic medical records from 10,534 cancer patients cared for between 2006 and 2010 by a large national hospice. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of music therapy using propensity scores to adjust for non-random assignment. Results Overall, those receiving music therapy had higher odds of being female, having longer lengths of stay, and receiving more services other than music therapy, and lower odds of being married/partnered or receiving home care. Family satisfaction data were available for 1495 (14%) and were more likely available if the patient received music therapy (16% vs. 12%, P < 0.01). There were no differences in patient pain, anxiety, or overall satisfaction with care between those receiving music therapy vs. those not. Patients who received music therapy were more likely to report discussions about spirituality (odds ratio [OR] = 1.59, P = 0.01), had marginally less trouble breathing (OR = 0.77, P = 0.06), and were marginally more likely to receive the right amount of spiritual support (OR = 1.59, P = 0.06). Conclusion Music therapy was associated with perceptions of meaningful spiritual support and less trouble breathing. The results provide preliminary data for a prospective trial to optimize music therapy interventions for integration into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

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Keywords

  • family satisfaction
  • hospice care
  • Music therapy
  • propensity score analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Nursing(all)

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