Evaluating music therapy services in children's hospices
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Tsiris, G. & McLachlan, J. (2019) Evaluating music therapy services in children's hospices. In: Ludwig, A. (ed.) Music therapy in children and young people's palliative care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 67-85.
Service evaluation is an increasingly important aspect of music therapists’ work. The current knowledge base around the meanings and methods of service evaluation, however, is still in its early developments in the field, and a lack of publications is observed regarding the ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementing evaluations within particular contexts of music therapy practice. Responding to this situation, this chapter focuses on service evaluation within children’s hospices. We first introduce some terminology and underlying areas associated with service evaluation. After considering various literature and practice-based perspectives from palliative care, we present a case example of a service evaluation that we conducted in a children’s hospice. We then reflect on various practical, methodological and ethical aspects of evaluating music therapy services within children’s hospices. We hope this chapter will equip practitioners and organisations with an initial understanding of service evaluation and, more importantly, encourage them to ‘give it a go’.