Pain Assessment and Management in End of Life Care: A Survey of Assessment and Treatment Practices of Hospice Music Therapy and Nursing Professionals


Journal of Music Therapy




Current trends in pain assessement in end of life care are described, and music therapy techniques commonly used to address pain for hospice patients are discussed. Trends were determined using a survey of 72 board certified music therapists and 92 hospice and palliative nurses. Results indicate that most music therapists in the hospice setting incorporate formal pain assessment into their practice, while both nursing professionals and music therapists utilize multiple assessment tools to assess patient pain. Nursing professionals most frequently use the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and FACES scales, and identified them as appropriate for use by non-nursing members of the interdisciplinary hospice team. Music therapy techniques most often used by music therapists with hospice patients to address acute and chronic pain symptoms are also addressed.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Acute Pain; Chronic Pain; Hospice Care; Hospitalized Patients; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Palliative Care; Receptive Music Methods; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Terminally Ill

Indexed Terms

Pain Management; Hospice care; Assessment; Medical Treatment; Palliative Care; Nursing; Trends; Polls and Surveys

Study Type

Descriptive Analysis; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type