PurposeMusic therapy programs are increasingly common and necessary in mental health services. However, there is little knowledge of the key factors which influence the successful implementation of new therapeutic programs. The purpose of this paper is to explore how stakeholder input influenced the implementation and sustainability of a new music therapy program in four services within a large government funded mental health department in Melbourne, Australia.Design/methodology/approachFor a period of 12 months, two cycles of assessment, action and evaluation were conducted where data were collected through interviews with staff members, feedback from consumers and attendance in sessions.FindingsA number of influential factors were identified as important in the successful implementation and future sustainability of the music therapy program. These included: the degree of staff support received; how the program was structured and facilitated; promotion of the program within the service; evaluation of the program; and congruence with the existing therapeutic program.Research limitations/implicationsResults suggest that successful implementation and future sustainability of a music therapy program is dependent on the flexibility of the program to the context and culture of the existing setting.Originality/valueThis is the first study to incorporate contributions from stakeholders in the implementation of a new music therapy program in a mental health service.
Mental Health Review Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 10, 2018
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