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February 2020

A comparison of the effect of music therapy and medical play therapy on the verbalization behavior of pediatric patients

Journal/Book: J Music Ther. 1984; 21: 2-15.

Abstract: Therapeutic play activities are designed to help children verbalize their hospital experiences so they can cope with the trauma of hospitalization. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a music therapy session was more effective than a medical play therapy session in facilitating this verbalization. Forty school-aged subjects were randomly selected to receive an individual music therapy or play therapy session. The two groups were equated on the following variables: sex, age, socioeconomic status, length of present hospitalization, session interruptions, type of illness and related number of prior hospitalizations, and prior Child Life involvement. The last two variables were thought to influence verbalization. The dependent variable was comprised of each patient's response to four critical incidence questions about hospitalization. Content analysis was employed to code each response as a three-digit number with numbers increasing as the verbalization became more involved. The chi square statistic revealed that music therapy elicited significantly more involved verbalization about hospitalization than did the play therapy session for each of the seven variables. Verbalization was unrelated to the patient's diagnosis and prior hospitalizations. Patients without prior Child Life involvement had more involved verbalization than patients with prior involvement.

Keyword(s): California. Child. Child, Hospitalized/psychology. Child, Preschool. Comparative Study. Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499. Human. Music Therapy. Play Therapy

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