• How culture informs hospice music therapy: a critical interpretive synthesis

      DeFeo, Nicholas J. (2017-05)
      This systematic review investigates hospice music therapy and the role culture plays in informing clinical practice. Due to the emphasis on cultural, contextual understanding in this review, the exploration of end-of-life care through qualitative inquiry, and the transformative nature of the implications yielded by the study, a critical interpretive synthesis was chosen as the best suited form of review. Studies in interdisciplinary fields of end-of-life care were also considered. The SUNY New Paltz library database Proquest was utilized in order to search articles from the following databases: CINAHL, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, VOICES, The Australian Journal of Music Therapy, and The New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) research database was also utilized in order to collect research articles from the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives. Exactly 10 studies met inclusion criteria. Results of this study indicated eight themes relevant to culturally-sensitive practice in hospice music therapy: perception of death and dying, appropriate level of sensitivity, spirituality/religiosity, expression of grief, family dynamics, legacy/life review, perceived role of music therapist, and perceived role of music. The themes presented in this study bolster the argument that culturally informed practice is crucial to effective implementation of music therapy. Implications for future music therapy research, education and training, and direction for treatment are discussed.