Interdisciplinary Team Members’ Beliefs About the Role of Music Therapy in a Pediatric Outpatient Clinic

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Darsie, Emily
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
The purpose of this study was to clarify the beliefs of interdisciplinary pediatric treatment team members regarding the role of music therapy in a pediatric outpatient clinic, and to determine if the viewing of an educational video inservice could alter those perceptions. Seventeen participants were recruited from a pediatric hematology/oncology outpatient clinic, representing four occupational subgroups: physicians (n = 5), clinical nurses/nurse practitioners (n = 6), psychologists/social workers (n = 2), and child life specialists/creative arts therapists (n = 4). Subjects were administered a pretest survey that included twenty-five roles specific to the healthcare setting, and were asked to rate each role in regards to how they felt each task fell within the role of a music therapist, using a five point Likert Scale. Subjects then viewed a five-minute video inservice which included audiovisual clips from music therapy sessions. Following the video, subjects completed a posttest survey. Results indicated significant differences between occupational groups on two tasks: Entertain the children and their families when they are not involved in medical procedures, and provide distraction for children during painful procedures. Results also indicated significant differences between the pretests and posttests on four of the tasks: Make written developmental assessments of each child, write out goals and methods to facilitate each child’s physical development, provide the presence of a supportive individual during procedures and routines for patients during painful procedures, and assess and set goals for meeting the emotional/social needs of each child. It is believed that the survey provided sufficient data on initial perceptions of the role of music therapy in the pediatric setting. Additionally, it can be assumed that viewing the video inservice had a direct effect on the perceptions of interdisciplinary pediatric team members.