Staff and Administrators’ Perceptions of Music Therapy With Acute Care Mental Health Inpatients: A Qualitative Investigation


Journal of Creativity in Mental Health




The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand staff members’ and administrators’ perceptions of group-based music therapy in an acute care mental health setting. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with six experienced administrators and unit staff who were familiar with music therapy. Using an inductive approach to thematic analysis, the author identified six themes: (a) music constitutes an important role in patients’ lives, (b) patient-centricity and competence of the music therapist, (c) music therapy uniquely engages the patient with music, the music therapist, and peers, (d) music therapy shifts patients’ focus from internal to external, (e) music therapy is a normalizing experience that facilitates interaction, and (f) music therapy provides optimal conditions for cognitive, affective, and behavioral change. Implications for clinical practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations of the study are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Interviews; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Recorded Music Listening; Symptom Management; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Acute care; administrators; creativity in counseling; interviews; mental health; psychiatric; qualitative research; staff members; staff perceptions; Health Personnel Attitudes; Mental Health Personnel; Psychiatric Patients; Health Personnel; Counseling; Creativity; Hospitalized Patients; Medical Personnel

Study Type

Phenomenological Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type