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Music therapists’ practice-based research in cancer and palliative care: Creative methods and situated findings

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Author(s): Clare O'Callaghan | Philippa Barry

Journal: Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy
ISSN 1504-1611

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Although randomized controlled trials are described as the gold standard in health care research, their superiority is being questioned in palliative care which is focused on addressing individualized needs to maximize life quality. We use creative practice-based research to examine the usefulness of our music therapy work amongst people with life threatening conditions. Examined voices include “collective” (patients, visitors, staff, and music therapist), "their” (patients or caregivers), "our” (a group of music therapists), and "my voice” (one music therapist). Data sources have included clinical journals, semi-structured questionnaires, interview responses, a focus group, reflexive groupwork supervision transcripts, and patients’ song lyrics. Findings, situated within varied theoretic lenses, substantiate music therapy’s role in oncology and palliative care settings. Readers are invited to devise creative ways to voice their clients’, bystanders’, and own wisdom about music therapy to meaningfully extend the knowledge base.
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