Healthcare Administrators’ Perceptions of Music Therapy: A Survey Study in One Midwestern Area

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Maurer, Rachel
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Healthcare administrators’ perceptions of music therapy are largely unknown. This study attempted to determine healthcare administrators’ perceptions of music therapy in one Midwestern area. Invitations to participate in an online survey study were sent to individuals with specific job titles in a specific Midwestern area. Questions pertained to participants’ past experiences with music therapy, thoughts on whether or not to hire a music therapist, who participants believe is qualified to provide music therapy, participants’ perceptions of the effectiveness of music therapy when addressing various goal areas, and general information about participants. There were 42 participants who began the survey and 41 participants who completed it. Results showed that while the majority of participants had positive experiences with music therapy in the past and were interested in hiring a music therapist in their healthcare facilities, most did not currently have music therapists working in their healthcare facilities. Also, results indicated that 34.1% of participants did not list board-certified music therapists with Bachelors degrees and 39.0% of participants did not list board-certified music therapists with Masters degrees to be qualified to provide music therapy. Other individuals were also listed among those believed to be qualified to provide music therapy services. Participants rated music therapy to be less effective when addressing goals related to physical rehabilitation, pain management, and cognitive/memory recall when compared to other goal areas, but was perceived to be most effective with relaxation/anxiety reduction. More education is needed for healthcare administrators regarding cost-effectiveness, qualifications of a board-certified music therapist, and benefits music therapy offers for different goal areas. Also, more research that includes a larger geographic area would be beneficial.