Listening to recorded music or working with a music therapist may reduce anxiety levels of cancer patients and have other positive effects as well, a new study shows.
Listening to recorded music, singing, playing an instrument, or otherwise participating in music making apparently also have positive effects on general mood, pain, and quality of life, according to the study.
The study is published in the August issue of Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
“The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to people with cancer,” says Joke Bradt, PhD, an associate professor in creative arts therapies at Drexel University, in a news release. “Music interventions provided by trained music therapists as well as listening to pre-recorded music both have shown positive outcomes in this review, but at this time there is not enough evidence to determine if one intervention is more effective than the other.”
Together with colleagues, Bradt, who has a master’s degree in music pedagogy from the Lemmensinstituut in Belgium, analyzed evidence from 1,891 patients taking part in 30 studies.
Thirteen studies used trained music therapists, who got patients to sing or otherwise participate themselves in music creation or selection. In the other 17 studies, patients listened to pre-recorded music.