Effects of music therapy with patients on a post-surgical oncology unit

surgery music

Effects of music therapy with patients on a post-surgical oncology unit
Cancer affects many people and their families. Almost every =one knows, or has someone in their family, who has battled cancer. Ever wonder if music therapy can help ease oncology treatment? Previous studies indicated that music therapy (specifically live, patient preferred listening) may improve quality of life, decrease anxiety, and decrease blood pressure. Therapists involved in the studies also noticed that active participation (singing along or requesting/choosing songs) further decreased stress in oncology patients. Some music therapy studies focused on guided imagery and music to decrease anxiety and nausea in cancer patients. However, despite this research no one has addressed how long the effects of music therapy last or how music therapy can affect patients post-surgical procedure.
In “Effects of Music Therapy with Patients on a Post-Surgical Oncology Unit: A Pilot Study Determining Maintenance of Immediate Gains” researchers looked at the effects of a single session of music therapy on a surgical oncology unit. The patients in the study were recovering from a oncology related surgical procedure and had a typical stay of one to three days. Researchers measured relaxation, pain, anxiety, nausea, and perception of music therapy treatment. Patients in the study received twenty minutes of their favorite, or preferred, music played by the music therapist on a steel-stringed guitar.
Results of the study showed that anxiety, pain, and relaxation were significantly affected by the single music therapy session. Follow up tests showed that the effects lasted for thirty to forty five minutes after the session, but there was no significant difference after that time period. The researchers recommend a control group to confirm these results, but in general patients reported enjoying and benefiting from music therapy sessions.
This study is important because it may help you or your family members! One music therapy session can help with anxiety, pain, and relaxation and reduce the need for medications. If a family member is undergoing cancer treatment or is in the hospital for other reasons and experiences pain or anxiety, they may benefit from a music therapy session. Ask your nurse or doctor about music therapy treatment options at your hospital.
For more information please visit centralohiomusictherapy.com or musictherapy.org
-Jessica Schlabach, MM, MT-BC
Chaput-McGovern, J., & Silverman, M. (2012). Effects of music therapy with patients on a post-surgical oncology unit: A pilot study determining maitenanceof immediate gains. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39, 417-422.