Original Article 

A Nationwide Survey of Nurses’ Attitudes Toward Music Therapy and Their Need for Education in Its Application

Yin-Ming Li, MS, MD; Chiung-Yu Huang, RN, PhD; Hui-Ling Lai, RN, PhD; Yuan-Mei Hsieh, MA

  • The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
  • December 2013 - Volume 44 · Issue 12: 544-552
  • DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20130916-55



Music therapy is increasingly used to help heal patients. However, there is a significant gap in the literature about nurses’ attitudes toward and need for education in music therapy for nursing practice. This cross-sectional study was conducted to describe nurses’ attitudes toward music therapy and determine their need for education in music therapy.


Participants included 1,197 nurses who were recruited from hospitals in different regions of Taiwan.


Participants expressed positive attitudes toward music therapy. Most participants were willing to learn about music therapy. “Skill in using musical instruments” was the most frequently identified educational need. Further study of the discrepancy between the attitudes toward “performing music therapy” and “learning music therapy” is needed to clarify why nurses expected that they would receive no support for attending music therapy education.


Given participants’ attitudes toward music therapy and their motivation for learning, nursing administrators and educators may consider developing policies to further the advancement of music therapy in educational programs and practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013;44(12):544–552.

Dr. Li is Attending Physician, Department of Family Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, and Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University, Hualien; Dr. Huang is Professor, Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung; Dr. Lai is Professor, Department of Nursing, Tzu Chi University, and Vice Director, Department of Nursing, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien; and Ms. Hsieh is Professor, Department of Music, National University of Tainan, Tainan, Taiwan.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The research was funded by Grant number NSC96-2314-B-303-013-MY2 from the National Science Council, Taiwan.

Address correspondence to Hui-Ling Lai, RN, PhD, 701, Section 3, Chung Yang Road, Hualien, 970 Taiwan, R.O.C.; e-mail: snowjade@mail.tcu.edu.tw.

Received: February 21, 2013
Accepted: August 26, 2013
Posted Online: September 23, 2013



Healio is intended for health care provider use and all comments will be posted at the discretion of the editors. We reserve the right not to post any comments with unsolicited information about medical devices or other products. At no time will Healio be used for medical advice to patients.