Background Music is a means of improving quality of life and care for persons who are dying. In Canada, there are less than 30 dedicated palliative music therapists in a population of 35 million. Room to Room (R2R) is a music care program that allows care professionals, volunteers and family carers to use music designed specifically for end of life care.
Aim To extend delivery and accessibility of benefit-designed music resources into residential and community hospice palliative care (HPC) sites across Canada; to gather information on how designed music resources impact quality of life and care in HPC.
Methods Recruited 84 HPC sites across Canada; pre-test survey; provision of music care kits with instruction, education and support to point person in each HPC; four month implementation and evaluation with support, post-test questionnaire and telephone interview; one-year follow up online survey, qualitative coding analysis.
Results • predictors for developing music care programs in a Canadian HPC site
• five impact themes including improved quality of life, assisted relationship completion, decreased feelings of fear and isolation, helped to meet psychosocial and spiritual needs, and provided distraction
• production of a controlled delivery and support process for music care
• caregiver feedback
‘having the music playing in the room was a wonderful distraction and reduced his calling out and restlessness.’
‘When we gave him the music, it was the first time he slept in the 36 hours.’
‘When we used the music, the patient closed her eyes and immediately was calmer.’
Conclusions R2R created opportunities for Canadian HPC sites to offer music care to families without the need of a music therapist, facilitated by the provision of designed resources at no cost to R2R participants. Results show that music care improved the experience of patient, loved ones and care providers at end of life.
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