Self-Care of Hospice Music Therapists: A Phenomenological Study

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Scheer, Brittany
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Music therapists working in hospice encounter deep emotional experiences due to the many aspects of the music-therapist-patient relationship, affecting the ability to maintain self-care strategies. Quality self-care, as well as the self-awareness of selfcare needs, is essential to provide effective services to patients, however limited research exists about hospice music therapists’ perceptions of their experiences of self-care and their self-care needs. Four hospice music therapists took part in phenomenological interviewing exploring a high quality self-care experience and a poor quality self-care experience within the patient care setting. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using phenomenological analysis methods. Results show fourteen high quality experience themes and nine poor quality experience themes. Participants’ experiences are presented in reconstructed narratives based on the themes found. The lived experiences of self-care, perceptions of self-care needs, and perceptions of self-care for music therapists in hospice care provide further knowledge about the implications and needs for research, education, training, and self-assessment for music therapists working in end of life care.