Music therapists’ perceptions on their role and status in medical settings in France: A survey study

Jenny Diouf Lewis, Soo Ji Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Music therapy has a long history in France. However, little is known about music therapists working in medical settings and how they perceive their role and status. This study aimed to address this need. Method: A survey was emailed to the 315 music therapists in France registered with either of the two main professional music therapy organizations. Respondents who reported working in medical settings within the last five years were asked to complete the survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze their demographic data, employment status, clinical practice information, and perceptions regarding their role and status. Results: Eighty-four respondents were included in the data analysis. Findings showed that nearly 30% of the respondents had to persuade their medical facility to offer music therapy services. Over half of the respondents (57%) received medical training as part of their degree requirements. On average, the respondents worked 14 hours per week, and this was mainly in residential care facilities with patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Respondents strongly agreed that a music therapist’s role includes assessing patients, setting treatment goals, reporting progress, and communicating with the medical team. However, respondents stated that their status and role remained unclear to their medical colleagues. Discussion: Despite promising advancements in the field of music therapy, in France the profession lacks the full support and recognition of the medical community. Additional efforts in the areas of medical training and systematic evidence-based practice are needed to improve the status of music therapists in France and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 GAMUT–The Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre.


  • medical setting
  • Music therapist
  • perception
  • role
  • status
  • survey


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