A Project Investigating Music Therapy Referral Trends within Palliative Care: An Australian Perspective Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The purpose of this project is to analyze music therapy (MT) referral trends from palliative care team members across nine Australian inpatient and community-based palliative care settings. For each referral 6 items were collected: referral source, reason and type; time from Palliative Care Program (PCP) admission to MT referral; time from MT referral to death/discharge; and profile of referred patient. Participants (196 female, 158 male) were referred ranging in age from 4-98 years and most were diagnosed with cancer (91%, n = 323). Nurses (47%, n = 167) referred most frequently to music therapy. The mean average time in days for all referrals from PCP admission to MT referral was 11.47 and then 5.19 days to time of death. Differences in length of time to referral ranged from 8.19 days (allied health staff) to 43.75 days (families). Forty-eight percent of referrals (48.5%, n = 172) were completed when the patient was rated at an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance (ECOG) of three. Sixty-nine percent (n = 244) were living with others at the time of referral and most were Australian born. Thirty-six percent (36.7%, n = 130) were referred for symptom-based reasons, and 24.5% (n = 87) for support and coping. Implications for service delivery of music therapy practice, interdisciplinary care and benchmarking of music therapy services shall be discussed.

publication date

  • June 1, 2007