ERIC Number: ED285299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jun
Music Therapy in the Interdisciplinary Care of Children with Cancer.
Pfaff, Valerie Kalsbeck
Music therapy, the systematic application of music and musical activities to elicit specific changes in emotional, physical, or social behavior, can help pediatric cancer patients to decrease their anxiety and cope with hospitalization. Because music is a nonverbal means of expression, it is an especially effective medium for young children who are developmentally unable to verbalize their emotions. Music can create an atmosphere of play in which tension is released, stress is reduced, and self-expression occurs. Singing, instrument improvisation, and song writing allow children to express their feelings. Specifically, music therapy goals are designed to increase self-esteem, provide emotional support, encourage relaxation, provide a medium for creative self-expression, provide opportunity for control and independence, and maintain age appropriate development. The music therapist can enhance these opportunities by first developing rapport with the young cancer patient and then working with the team of health professionals involved in the patient's care and development. The music therapist may actually accompany the patients to various hospital treatments to teach and maintain relaxation techniques to help the child cope with anxiety and pain. Although it is still an uncommon service in pediatric hospitals, the benefits of music therapy are slowly becoming known to health care professionals. (CB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Association for the Care of Children's Health (San Francisco, CA, June 8-10, 1986).