Integration of Music Therapy and Child Life Interventions in Clinical Practice: A Descriptive Study

Thumbnail Image
Talbott, Vanessa
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
While the current literature is helpful in informing the general practice of dual-certified child life and music therapy clinicians, the integration of specific child life and music therapy interventions has not been fully explored. Understanding the specific integration of interventions would help dual-certified clinicians maximize the effective use of available child life and music therapy techniques to meet the needs of the patients they serve. In addition, the study could inform those in the music therapy community interested in the child life profession to increase clinical knowledge and also fill a need in the current literature (Ghetti, 2011a). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide a detailed description of the integration of music therapy and child life practices in pediatric settings. The researcher used qualitative content analysis to describe the integration practices of six participants. Detailed descriptions were gleaned from in-depth interviews in the areas of assessment, coping, preparation, procedural support, and anxiety and pain reduction. Participants identified benefits of dual certification such as flexibility and a broader scope. In addition, barriers to integrated practice were described such as hospital culture, leadership‟s receptivity to integrated practice, clear roles, and professional identity. Barriers contributed to each participant‟s ability to provide integrated interventions. Participants offered a spectrum of integration use from no integration to full use of both child life and music therapy interventions.