Music therapy, a board certified health profession that has about 7,500 practitioners nationwide, is becoming more prevalent in nursing homes and hospices because of sessions like those reported in this article. It is increasing being used in end-of-life care.
Russell Hilliard, the founder of the Center for Music Therapy in End of Life Care in Finksburg, Md., has published research showing that in the hospice environment, music therapists were often the only professionals consistently treating emotional, spiritual, cognitive, social and physical needs of patients.
While it has not been proven to extend life, multiple studies have shown music therapy can improve quality of life, inspire feelings of peace, spirituality and hope, and reduce pain.
Comment: This is an example of low-tech high value care that improves patients' well-being and is associated with no untoward side-effects.