Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Alaine Reschke-Hernandez


Substance misuse is a pandemic with far reaching effects on those personally affected, their families, and their communities. Kentucky has one of the highest rates of substance use disorder (SUD) in the country, and most research has focused on how to help men in recovery. There is very little research regarding how to support pregnant individuals with SUD. The purpose of this qualitative thesis was to identify the perceived needs of pregnant individuals with SUD, define characteristics of effective care, and learn how music therapists can support this population in substance use rehabilitation settings from the perspectives of experienced professionals. Because the needs of these individuals can vary by geographic region and according to state healthcare laws, this research was situated in Kentucky. I conducted a multiple-case study and interviewed four professionals from different fields: music therapy, nursing care, social work, and child life. The primary research question was: “How can music therapists support pregnant individuals with SUD in substance use rehabilitation settings in Kentucky?” Additionally, sub-questions were: “What are the needs of pregnant individuals with SUD in Kentucky?” and “What are the characteristics of effective care during pregnancy with SUD?” Using Thematic Analysis, four themes emerged from the data: 1) “you don’t matter,” 2) lack of support, 3) knowledge and skills of the clinician, and 4) empathy and empowerment. Findings from this study inform the use of music therapy with this population in Kentucky and characterize effective care of pregnant individuals with SUD.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Funds awarded directly to the author from the College of Fine Arts. The award was titled, Research Support for Master's Thesis and was awarded in the fall of 2023.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons