A Narrative Exploration of the Music Therapist’s Experience of Patient Voice in Hospice

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Flynn, Cathleen
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Little is known about how music therapists experience the music, particularly the voices, of patients in hospice care. Using narrative inquiry, a research method in which the form or the analysis of story is used to understand qualitative data, this researcher examined four participant experiences with patient voice. Participants were music therapists working in hospice care, were purposefully selected based on diversity of professional experience and theoretical orientation, and submitted in their own narrative style a significant clinical story involving patient voice. Narrative data were analyzed using contextual and categorical methods (Kenny, 2005; Maxwell, 1996); pre-determined categories used for categorical analysis were situation, interaction, and continuity, the three elements that comprise stories according to Clandinin and Connelly (2000). Based on contextual and categorical results, this researcher’s findings validated the current literature related to voice in hospice music therapy and clinician experiences of patient music and psychospiritual state. The findings also highlighted the clinical relevance of clinician and patient experiences of time.