Music-thanatology is increasingly used in palliative care, caring for the whole person at different stages of disease treatment and progression. You can find us at work in many health care systems, including JourneyCare, PeaceHealth, and Providence.
According to the World Health Organization, palliative care "is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
- provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
- intends neither to hasten nor postpone death
- integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
- offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
- offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement
- uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counseling, if indicated
- will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness
- is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications."
For more information:
Diane Meier, MD, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care
Ira Byock, The Institute for Human Caring
Stephen Jenkinson, Orphan Wisdom
National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization