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




The primary focus of this paper is to describe current trends in pain assessment in end of life care with a secondary focus on music therapy techniques commonly used to address pain for hospice patients. These trends were determined through a survey of 72 board certified music therapists and 92 hospice and palliative nurses. Survey results indicate that most music therapists in the hospice setting incorporate formal pain assessment into their practice; both nursing professionals and music therapists surveyed utilize multiple assessment tools to assess patient pain. Although there are currently a variety of pain assessment tools used, this study indicates that nursing professionals most frequently use the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and FACES scales, and identified them as appropriate for use by nonnursing members of the interdisciplinary hospice team. This paper also describes music therapy techniques most often utilized by music therapists with hospice patients to address acute and chronic pain symptoms.

Music and Health Institute Terms

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

Indexed Terms

Hospice care; Palliative care; Pain management; Physician's Practice Patterns; United States; Questionnaires; Nursing Assessment; Pain Measurement; Palliative Care; Hospice Care

Study Type

Descriptive Analysis; Quantitative Methods


Music Therapy | Nursing

PubMed ID

223549797; 17484524

Document Type