Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2018 Dec;21(4):109-114. 10.14475/kjhpc.2018.21.4.109.

Hospice Music Therapy in Korea

  • 1Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea. purewhiteej@naver.com


The objective of this paper is to suggest plans to properly establish and promote the use of hospice music therapy by examining its necessity and how it is being used in Korea. Hospice music therapy is a clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions administered by a professional to alleviate total pains suffered by hospice patients and their families. While the effects of hospice music therapy have been reported by many studies, its meaning and value are still poorly understood in Korea, which explains the lack of related institutions in the nation. Recently policy-wise and legislative efforts have been made to promote hospice and palliative care, which in turn will likely fuel demand for hospice music therapy. Therefore, the meaning and role of hospice music therapy should be defined by major hospice and palliative care institutions and societies, followed by institutional and academic efforts as follows. First, a set of qualification criteria for hospice music therapists should be established to provide proven music therapy interventions to patients and their families. Second, a systematic program offering both theoretical and practical trainings needs to be developed to foster hospice music therapists. Last but not least, clinical studies should be promoted with development of a research road map for hospice music therapy and a standard protocol.


Music therapy; Hospice care; Palliative care

MeSH Terms

Hospice Care
Music Therapy*
Palliative Care
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