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Home Healthc Nurse. 2010 Jan;28(1):37-44. doi: 10.1097/01.NHH.0000366796.79152.4a.

Introducing music therapy in hospice and palliative care: an overview of one hospice's experience.

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Hospice Music Therapists of Chicago, IL, USA.


A middle-aged man with lung cancer breathes more easily and reduces his need for pain medication after participating in music-focused relaxation. An 8-year-old boy with cancer writes songs and records a CD for his family. An elderly woman in the final stages of Alzheimer's who is no longer able to speak sings a few words of her favorite lullaby to her adult daughter. A much-loved grandmother dies peacefully as her family sings her favorite spiritual songs to the accompaniment of a music therapist's folk harp. These illustrations demonstrate the role that music therapy plays in attending to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of hospice and palliative care patients and families while respecting their dignity and celebrating their lives.

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