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Music therapy in the context of palliative care in Tanzania.

Authors
  • Hartwig, Rebecca
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of palliative nursing
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2010
Volume
16
Issue
10
Pages
499–504
Identifiers
PMID: 20972382
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

There has been much written to support music therapy as an adjunct in managing pain and anxiety in palliative care patients in Western societies, but little written on its use in developing countries. In light of increasing numbers of terminally ill patients in Tanzania owing to HIV/AIDS and cancer, limited access to opioids, and a growing interest in palliative care support, this study looks at the application of music in this context. The study reviews the history and principles of therapeutic music and outlines its role in palliative care. A qualitative study was conducted by questionnaire of 17 professionals involved in home-based palliative care in Tanzania. Findings include beliefs about the power of music, how music is being used to bring comfort to the dying patient, and the most important aspects of helpful music to many Tanzanian palliative care patients. Music can powerfully affect body, mind and spirit. It is vocal music, which is an accepted therapeutic music tool used to bring comfort to the palliative care patient and their family members. Finally, music is an active and participatory activity in Tanzanian culture, even for the dying.

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