Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Debra Burns

  • Chair of the Department of Music and Arts Technology
  • Professor of Music Therapy
Debra Burns

IT 391
Professional Website


  • University of Kansas, Music Education/Music Therapy, Ph.D., 08/1999
  • Illinois State University, Masters of Music in Music Therapy, Other, 12/1993
  • Glenville State College, WV, Music Education K-12 Comprehensive, BA/BS, 05/1989

Professional Experience

  • Board-Certified Music Therapist #04036, 2/1992 - 1/2016

Selected Publications

  • Liu X, Burns DS, Hilliard RE, Stump T, & Unroe KT (2015). Music therapy clinical practice in hospice: Differences between home and nursing home delivery. Journal of Music Therapy. (First published online: September 24, 2015) doi:10.1093/jmt/thv012, 1/2016
  • Robb SL, Burns DS, Stegenga KA, Haut PR, Monahan PO, Meza J, Stump TE, Cherven BO, Docherty SL, Hendricks-Ferguson VL, Kintner EK, Haight AE, Wall DA, & Haase JE (2014). Randomized clinical trial of therapeutic music video intervention for resilience outcomes in adolescents/young adults undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Cancer, 120(6), 909-917. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28355, 1/2016
  • Bradt, J, Burns DS, & Creswell JW (2013). Mixed methods research in music therapy research. Journal of Music Therapy, 50(2), 123-148., 1/2016
  • Burns DS (2012). Theoretical rationale for music selection in oncology intervention research: An integrative review. Journal of Music Therapy, 49(1), 7-22., 1/2016
  • Burns DS, Perkins SM, Tong Y, Hilliard RE, & Cripe LD (2015). Music therapy is associated with family perception of more spiritual support and decreased breathing problems in cancer patients receiving hospice care, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 50(2), 225-231. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.02.022, 11/2015
  • Meadows, AN, Burns, DS, & Perkins, SM (2015). Measuring supportive music and imagery interventions:  The development of the Music Therapy Self-Rating Scale. Journal of Music Therapy, (First published online: September 2, 2015). doi:10.1093/jmt/thv010, 9/2015
  • Burns DS & Meadows AN (2015). Music Therapy Research. In B Wheeler (Ed.), Music Therapy Handbook (pp. 91-102). NY: Guilford Press, Inc. , 6/2015


Music-based intervention effectiveness research in cancer and hospice/end of life. Research methodologies including randomized controlled trials, qualitative and mixed methods.


Music Therapy Hospice/EOL Care Neuroscience Clinical Reasoning/Decision Making Mixed Methodologies