New Medical Study Finds Music Can Alleviate Cancer Patients’ Symptoms

first_imgThe spiritually healing properties of music are widely discussed and recognized, but according to a new study from Drexel University, there is significant evidence that music intervention treatments help alleviate medical symptoms in cancer patients, from anxiety to pain to fatigue, while also increasing their overall quality of life. Led by Joke Bradt, PhD, an associate professor at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, a team of scientists conducted a systematic review of studies that examined the impacts of music therapy (a personalized music experience offered by trained music therapists) and music medicine (listening to pre-recorded music provided by a doctor or nurse) on physical and psychological outcomes in people with cancer. Explains Dr. Bradt, “We found that music therapy interventions specifically improve patients’ quality of life. These are important findings as these outcomes play an important role in patients’ overall well-being.”The team examined fifty-two (52) different trials in the review, consisting of a total of 3,731 participants with cancer, with twenty-three (23) classified as “music therapy” and twenty-nine (29) classified as “music medicine interventions.” Overall, one of the most impactful findings was that “music interventions” of all kinds resulted in a moderate-to-strong reduction of patients’ anxiety.For pain reduction, researchers found a large treatment benefit, and for fatigue, they found small-to-moderate treatment effects. However, when comparing the merits of the two different types of music interventions, they found that, in terms of quality of life benefits, “music therapy” is more effective than “music medicine.”Dr. Bradt explains that both kinds of music interventions “play an important role in cancer care, but we didn’t quite know yet which interventions may be best suited for which type of outcome…We hope that the findings of this review will encourage health care providers in medical settings to seriously consider the use of music therapy in the psychological care of people with cancer.”While there is still a lot to learn about the subject, the positive effects of music interventions on cancer patients are an exciting are an exciting development in science’s ongoing fight against the disease. [via Science Daily]last_img read more