Case Studies of a Structured Singing Experience for the Psychological Well-Being of Hospice Patients

Ji Eun Oh, Hyun Ju Chong, Aimee Jeehae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients with a terminal illness receiving hospice care suffer from high psychological and emotional distress and physical pain, which impact quality of life. Music therapy has been shown to be an effective approach in reducing pain and improving quality of life. Methods: Three female patients with terminal cancer participated in a structured singing program, which comprised breathing, humming, toning, listening to songs, and singing songs. In order to examine the psychological well-being of participants, vocal and verbal responses of patients were recorded and analyzed qualitatively using three subcategories of psychological well-being:, autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relationship. Results: Results showed positive changes in the responses of participants experiencing increased psychological well-being during their participation in the singing program. Singing offered opportunities to build a positive self-image, interact with the therapist, and build autonomy in musical and nonmusical behavior. Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that a singing experience structured to meet patients' individual needs and their condition can help enhance their psychological well-being during hospice care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalAlternative and Complementary Therapies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • hospice care
  • music therapy
  • psychological well-being
  • singing


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