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Use of the Harp by North American Music Therapists in Oncology/Palliative Care: A Survey Study


Use of the Harp by North American Music Therapists in Oncology/Palliative Care: A Survey Study

Pearce, Janice (2017) Use of the Harp by North American Music Therapists in Oncology/Palliative Care: A Survey Study. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The continuum of oncology/palliative care presents complex bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients that music therapy seeks to address. While the most commonly-reported music therapy interventions for cancer patients use receptive methods, in particular live music presented by the music therapist, the literature is sparse regarding the use of musical instruments in these contexts. Evidence from both music therapy and adjunct music in healing practices indicates that live harp music can be of benefit for specific goals such as pain management, comfort and relaxation, reduction of anxiety, and improvement in quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of the harp by music therapists in Canada and the United States of America in oncology/palliative care. There were 23 respondents fitting the criteria of using the harp in oncology/palliative care, from a total of 201 credentialed music therapists who answered an English-language online survey consisting of open-ended and close-ended questions. Results showed that the therapists surveyed perceived it to be a useful music therapy instrument in cancer care, particularly using receptive methods to create a healing environment and increase comfort. Acoustic, aesthetic, and archetypal qualities emerged as bearing potential therapeutic impact. Risks and contraindications highlighted the archetypal connection with angels, heaven, and death. Training, study limitations, potential implications for the profession, and future research are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Pearce, Janice
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Music Therapy)
Date:September 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Vaillancourt, Guylaine
Keywords:harp, music therapy, oncology, palliative care, hospice,
ID Code:982984
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 17:00
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56


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