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Nurses comprise the largest single component of hospital staff, and are the primary providers of direct patient care (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2011). Nationwide, nursing is the largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.1 million Registered Nurses (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). The number of nurses that passed the licensing exam increased steadily between 2001 and 2011, from 68,561 to 142,390 NCLEX-RN passers; representing a 107.7% growth (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Music therapy, as a growing health care profession, has 19% of the Board Certified music therapists employed in a mental health setting, the largest population served, according to the response to the 2015 American Music Therapy Member Survey and Workforce Analysis (AMTA, 2015). With the understanding of the steady increase in upcoming nursing professionals and the growth and need of music therapy in mental health settings, this study aimed to assess nursing students' attitudes towards music therapy and its role in mental health. Participants (N=194) completed a one-time survey consisting of Likert-scale questions with responses pertaining to knowledge, perception, and opinions on music therapy. The largest group of participants (39%) responded that they knew about music therapy's role in mental health but were doubtful if this information was accurate. Regarding the effectiveness of music therapy in addressing certain goals in mental health treatment, the goals ‘Decrease Depressive Symptoms', and ‘Anxiety Reduction" were found to have higher scores than the other goals listed on the survey. Results also showed that participants who indicated that they previously attended/observed a music therapy session, viewed it as more valuable in mental health treatment than those who indicated no former experience. These results were statistically significant at the α = .05 level. Academic level was also a variable that had a significant effect on participants' perceived value of music therapy in mental health treatment. Participants who identified themselves as seniors rated music therapy as more valuable compared to those students who identified themselves as juniors. Additionally, 52% of participants who stated previous exposure to music therapy indicated future patient's referral to music therapy to be ‘Extremely Likely'. Implications for these results are explored.
Attitudes, Music, Music Therapy, Nursing Students, Opinions, Perception
Date of Defense
April 14, 2016.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jayne M. Standley, Professor Directing Thesis; Dianne Gregory, Committee Member; Lori F. Gooding, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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