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March 2016

Welcome to the March edition of the Allied Health Hub News. The newsletter aims to keep you in touch with what’s happening in palliative care and in the Allied Health Hub.

In this edition led by Clare O’Callaghan, Music Therapist from Victoria, you will find out about:


In CareSearch

The Palliative Perspectives blog provides Australian health professionals with a place where they can read posts from their peers across the health professions - including ‘In my own bed: Managing dying patients at home' by Dr Christine Sanderson and ‘The Needs Assessment Tool for Carers: how GPs can help care for carers’ by A/Prof Geoff Mitchell.

There are 10 short podcasts called A Quality Life from the Centre to Advance Palliative Care (US) which focus on patients and families and their interactions with palliative care. These have now been added to the Patient, Carers and Families section of the CareSearch website.


Dear colleague,
My name is Deb Rawlings and I am a lecturer in Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University. I am conducting a survey of our alumni as part of a study: What is the impact of a postgraduate palliative care course on the professional lives of alumni and on their ability to change work practice?  The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and is completely voluntary. You will remain anonymous and no lecturer will know who has participated. This project has received ethics approval from Flinders University Social and Behavioural Ethics Committee (No 7154).

I would appreciate your taking the time to help us look at whether our courses are having an impact or the effect that students appreciate. You can contact me with any queries on (08) 7221 8215 or via email at You can access the survey and participant information sheet on the CareSearch website.

Thank you for your attention and assistance.

Yours sincerely
Deb Rawlings

Music Therapy

Emma O’Brien, Music Therapist, has been featured on the ABC TV Compass program and has been instrumental in transforming the lives of long term patients participating in her innovative therapy program at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

In addition, Meeting the needs of hospice patients through music therapy by Emily Olschki, MA, MT-BC. Pallimed 25 Jan, 2016; looks at how music therapy works in conjunction with medical interventions to decrease patients' restlessness and maintain their safety.

Did you know

Karen Bolger, RMT, discussed Music therapy in palliative care at part of the community palliative care team at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem Hospital. Melbourne: Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA); 2013 Jul 31.

Fast facts and concepts #128, written by Carol Monteleoni MS, CCC-SLP, looks at The speech pathologist and swallowing studies.

The Palliative Care Bridge

The Palliative Care Bridge is a state-wide palliative care education program coordinated and delivered by the HammondCare consortium, comprising HammondCare, Sacred Heart Health Service and Calvary Healthcare Sydney. They deliver innovative educational videos and resources on palliative care. Five new videos have been uploaded to the Palliative Care Bridge.

Palliative Care Toolkit for Canadian Aboriginal Communities

Cancer Care Ontario has released a free online toolkit, designed in collaboration with patients and families, to respond to the palliative care information needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada. The Toolkit, which contains personal stories and other resources to help families and communities develop capacity in palliative care and cope with grief and loss, information to support decision-making and planning, and information to help caregivers, is supported by a series of downloadable brochures.


Bradt J, Dileo C. Music therapy for end-of-life care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD007169 (350kb pdf).
This is a reprint of a Cochrane review, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration and published in The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 11. It reviews the effect of music therapy on end-of-life care when combined with standard care and also other therapies.

Hillard RE. Music therapy in hospice and palliative care: a review of the empirical data. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Jun;2(2):173-8.
This article reviews literature studies and documents the growth of evidence based music therapy treatments in palliative care.

Gutgsell KJ, Schluchter M, Margevicius S, DeGolia PA, McLaughlin B, Harris M. Music therapy reduces pain in palliative care patients: A randomized controlled trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013 May;(45)5:822-31. Epub 2012 Sep 24.
Over a two year period, 200 patients were assessed regarding pain after completing standard treatment (medical/nursing) or standard treatment plus music therapy. This article defines the study and details the results.

Goldberg LS, Altman KW. The role of gastrostomy tube placement in advanced dementia with dysphagia: a critical review. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 Oct 14;9:1733-9. eCollection 2014.
This is a systematic literature review identifying studies relating to PEG placement in dementia patients with dysphagia. The conclusion states there is presently no evidence to suggest long-term survival rates were improved in patients with advanced dementia who underwent PEG placement for dysphagia.


See the CareSearch Conferences page for a wide range of national and international conferences, as well as the events listed below:


World Indigenous Cancer Conference
Connecting, communicating, collaborating
12-14 April, Brisbane, QLD.

Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2016
Making Waves
15-18 May, Perth, WA.

Dietitians Association of Australia 33rd National Conference
On Track for the Future
19-21 May, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, VIC.


The 15th World Congress of Music Therapy (WCMT)
Moving Forward with Music Therapy – Inspiring the Next Generation
4-8 July, Tsukuba, Japan.


You can print the PDF version (413kb pdf) of the newsletter for yourself or for staff who do not have access to email. You are also welcome to forward the newsletter to others that may be interested or follow this link to subscribe to the newsletter or view previous editions. The ALLIEDhealth[HUB]news is distributed every second month. To share something, please email

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From the CareSearch Project Team

CareSearch is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.
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