Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lori Gooding

Second Advisor

Dr. Olivia Yinger


Advances in healthcare and shifts toward patient and family centered care have allowed healthcare professionals to focus on the entirety of a patient and what affects his/her health. In noting such changes, and in consideration of what affects quality of life, findings in the literature address the physiological and physiological differences between those who are caregivers versus those who are not caregivers. This study investigated the relaxation state of those who were considered informal caregivers of hospice and palliative patients in an acute hospitalized setting.

A family centered music therapy session was conducted utilizing a music-­‐ assisted relaxation intervention incorporating a loving-­‐kindness meditation. A total of 29 participants, 15 males and 13 females, took part in the study and 28 participants were included in data analysis. Findings from the study suggest an increase in relaxation scores after taking part in the brief intervention. Participant survey responses indicated participants’ agreement with feeling more relaxed and supported as a caregiver after the intervention. Survey results also indicated participants’ willingness to try some relaxation techniques from the study intervention on their own.