The challenges and the difficulties: Music therapy in end of life care
(2016) The challenges and the difficulties: Music therapy in end of life care, no. 66.
Among the existing literature, there are different articles which emphasise the elevation of the therapeutic process or the benefits of music therapy in end of life care. However, a paucity of literature was found which particularly highlighted the challenges or the difficulties which music therapists and terminally ill clients as well as their families may come across in end of life music therapy. This project aims to investigate the challenges or difficulties which were reported in the existing papers. Based on a systematic online database search and a hand search, twenty-five papers were found to meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria and to be relevant to this project. After thematic and numerical analysis of the identified papers, eight categories and six charts emerged which present the challenges and the difficulties which appeared in the end of life care music therapy. The categories are: 1 Personal Challenges 2 Psychological difficulties; 3 Lack of communication ; 4 Lack of understanding ; 5 Resistance to music therapy ; 6 Paucities of resources ; 7 Training issues and; 8 Ethical and legal issues. Furthermore, the finding was examined in the discussions section. For instance, some of the challenges and the difficulties are found to be unique to the music therapy in end of life care whereas some of them also appeared in other contexts; and papers which studied the challenges and the difficulties of palliative care were much more numerous than those on bereavement services. As well as this, more attention was paid to the music therapists' psychological difficulties compared with the psychological difficulties of the terminally ill client and their families. Lastly, the limitations of this project are clarified and recommendations for further research are offered.