Music as an Interpretive Lens: Patients' Experiences of Discharge Following Open-heart Surgery

Linda Liu, Jennifer Lapum, Suzanne Fredericks, Terrence Yau, Vaska Micevski


In this article, we highlight the use of music as an interpretive lens to understand patients' experiences of discharge following open-heart surgery. We adopted an arts-informed narrative methodology and interviewed participants at 1 and 4-6 weeks following discharge. Our secondary analysis followed an aesthetic approach that involved application of musical principles including rhythm, timing, and tone to frame our interpretation. We found that the tensions, harmony and relational dynamics between patients and practitioners were best elucidated when viewed through the lens of a solo concerto; this is orchestral work that features a soloist. Our findings have an impact on the discourse of patient-centered care and the need to re-orient communication measures so that practitioners can access the internalized space of patients' mind and body. Since music as an interpretive lens is embryonic in its development, its use has expansive implications for fostering aesthetic knowing in research and health care.



arts-informed research; music; narrative research; discharge planning; heart health; secondary analysis

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Copyright (c) 2012 Linda Liu, Jennifer Lapum, Suzanne Fredericks, Terrence Yau, Vaska Micevski

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