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Restoring the Spirit at the End of Life: Music as an Intervention for Oncology Nurses

Marilyn Tuls Halstead
Sherry Tuls Roscoe
CJON 2002, 6(6), 332-336 DOI: 10.1188/02.CJON.332-336

Music is a useful therapeutic intervention that can improve quality of life for dying patients. Physiologic mechanisms in response to carefully chosen musical selections help to alleviate pain, anxiety, and nausea and induce sleep. Expression of feelings enhances mood. Palliative care nurses increase the effectiveness of this intervention through careful assessment of patient needs, preferences, goals of intervention, and available resources. Music, a universal language, is an important clinical adjunct that addresses individual and family needs, thereby assisting patients to achieve a peaceful death. This article explores musical categories of preferences to assist nurses, patients, and families in choosing music that meets specific therapeutic objectives.

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