Approaching the end of life: A role for music therapy within the context of palliative care models

Approaching the end of life: A role for music therapy within the context of palliative care models

Abstract

When people are dying, they undoubtedly fluctuate through various psychological states. Authors have tried to incorporate these psychological states into theoretical models that describe the process of dying. The purpose of this article is to present a relative discussion of four theoretical models drawing on the early work of Kubler-Ross (1969) compared to later models that outline the psychological states and phases experienced during the process of dying (Levine, 1986, Buckman, 1989, and West, 1994). One of these models (West, 1994) has suggested ways that music therapy can support terminally ill patients through the dying process. Incorporating a brief review of other relevant literature, these suggestions will be discussed. Clinical vignettes will also be presented to illustrate how West's (1994) theoretical model may be incorporated into music therapy practice with terminally ill patients. With an heightened awareness of these suggestions and theoretical models of the dying process supported by examples of how they are applied, music therapists will be better informed in their clinical work with terminally ill patients.

 

Keywords: music therapy; palliative care


Citation

Hogan, B.E. (1998). Approaching the end of life: A role for music therapy within the context of palliative care models. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 9, 18-34.


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Date published: July 1998