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Title: Child-Parent Wellbeing in a Paediatric Ward: The Role of Music Therapy in Supporting Children and Their Parents Facing the Challenge of Hospitalisation
Keywords: hospitalisation
music therapy
semi-structured interview
Issue Date: 30-May-2013
Publisher: Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre
Description: This report, based on clinical practice on a children’s ward in New Zealand, examines the role of short-term music therapy in supporting children and their parents[1] facing the difficulties of hospitalisation. It endeavours to explore three questions. How might music therapy support hospitalised children? How can it support parents of hospitalised children? Is it important/valuable for music therapists working in a paediatric ward to involve parent(s) in music therapy sessions? Three hospitalised children (aged 11 months, 5 and 7 years), who were accompanied by a parent, participated in a single individual music therapy session. From the clinical notes, semi-structured interviews with the children’s parents and a staff member, and my own reflective journal it was indicated that music therapy supported the psychosocial needs of the paediatric patients and their parents in many ways. For the children music therapy: 1) promoted normalisation; and 2) provided emotional/psychological support. For parents, it: 1) elicited positive changes in mood; 2) reduced anxiety; and 3) supported parental learning/parenting. Furthermore, the findings suggested that the wellbeing of the parent-child relationship can be supported during music therapy. The importance of parental involvement varied for each case, and highlighted different views between therapist, staff member and parents regarding this. Factors that may determine parental involvement and the benefits of both parental presence and absence during sessions were elicited. The report suggests that music therapy has the potential positively to support paediatric wards in New Zealand to provide an environment that is responsive to the psychosocial needs of hospitalised children and their parents
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