Practice informed research in oncologic and palliative music therapy: From clinical data-mining to RCT

Practice informed research in oncologic and palliative music therapy: From clinical data-mining to RCT

Abstract

Practice informed research described in this article is grounded in research questions arising from the author's work as an oncologic and palliative care music therapist for over 20 years. Constructivism offers an approach for examining varied perceptions that patients and caregivers, including the music therapist-researcher, have about music therapy phenomena. Data may be accessed through "clinical data-mining" the metaphorical mine of information contained in therapists' routinely kept records (Epstein, 2001) and, it is suggested, prospective and retrospective clinical diaries, memories, and products (e.g., song lyrics). Mixed methods research, including a randomised controlled trial and subjective data collection, can offer varied perspectives of music therapy phenomena, meaningful to people with positivist and constructivist world views. Research projects encompassing varying models are described including, "therapist as researcher", "therapist-researcher partnership", "reflexive group supervision," and a multidisciplinary research team. Music therapy knowledge can be meaningfully extended through "data-mining" the practice wisdom of experienced music therapists, and research projects focused on questions emergent from practice.

 

Keywords: oncology, music therapy, practice research, clinical data-mining


Citation

O'Callaghan, C. (2009). Practice informed research in oncologic and palliative music therapy: From clinical data-mining to RCT. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20: 20th Anniversary Special Edition, 16-30.


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Date published: September 2009