Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Lisa VanGetson APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Susan Cutshall APRN, DNP, CNS

Third Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


Music therapy is an adjunct healing modality designed to alleviate symptoms of existential pain and suffering hospice patients may experience as they transition into the final stage of life. The complexity of existential pain and suffering in hospice patients is a challenge for a hospice care team to treat and manage and emotionally testing on the patient’s support system. The purpose of this scholarly project is to evaluate a music therapy program at a local community hospice center as an aid to relieve patients’ existential pain and suffering they incur from their terminal illness and to increase hospice care providers’ knowledge about incorporating music therapy as an adjunct healing modality. Bearing witness to patient experience occurred in collaboration with a board-certified music therapist during patient therapy sessions. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring Science provides a theoretical framework for developing an education session on music therapy to employ with hospice care providers. Participants of the education sessions discussed the physical effects music has on the body, using music as a healing modality for patients, and caregivers incorporating music as a healing modality. Findings of the developmental evaluation of the education sessions offered indicated the audience of nursing students gained the greatest benefit from the education offered. Future integrations of this scholarly project will allow an advanced nurse practitioner to implement music therapy as a healing modality and incorporate education sessions to meet the needs of a diverse patient population throughout life’s transitions.


SC 11.DNP.2020.Tipton.A

Included in

Music Therapy Commons