Music Therapy Research

Research Shows How Music Can Help Cancer Patients Deal with Anxiety and Pain

Research conducted by the music therapy team includes the following:

Effects of Music Therapy on Anesthesia Requirements and Anxiety in Women Undergoing Ambulatory Breast Surgery for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment:
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of live and recorded perioperative music therapy on anesthesia requirements, anxiety levels, recovery time and patient satisfaction in women experiencing surgery for diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer.

Including music therapy as a complementary modality with cancer surgery may help manage preoperative anxiety in a way that is safe, effective, time-efficient and enjoyable.

The effect of a single music therapy session on hospitalized children as measured by salivary immunoglobulin A:
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a single 30-minute music therapy session significantly affected the mood of hospitalized children, as measured by Salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Speech Pause Time, and a Patient Opinion Likert Scale. Subjects were 40 pediatric in-patients at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital between the ages of 6 and 12.

Music Therapy Reduces Pain in Palliative Care Patients:
From 2009 to 2011, 200 palliative care inpatients at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of a single music therapy session to reduce pain. The results showed a significantly greater decrease in pain scores in the music therapy group.

Current Research

Some of the research currently being conducted by the music therapy team at UH Seidman Cancer Center includes:

The Effects of a Single Music Therapy Session on the Pain of Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease:
This study’s purpose is to find out if music therapy affects pain in people with sickle cell disease. This study will compare the effects of music therapy to the effects of listening to music on headphones, or waiting without music. 120 adults with sickle cell disease will participate in this study during visits to the Acute Care Clinic for pain treatment. Subjects will be randomized to one of three groups:

  1. A 20-minute music therapy session with a music therapist
  2. Listening to patient-selected music on an iPod for 20 minutes
  3. Standard care (without music) for 20 minutes

The Effects Music Therapy on Transition Outcomes in Young Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: This study’s purpose is to find out if music therapy affects self-efficacy (the belief in one’s ability to manage his/her sickle cell disease), trust, knowledge, and adherence in young adult patients with sickle cell disease. This study will take place at visits to the Bridge Clinic for young adults with sickle cell disease. During these appointments, members of the Adult Sickle Cell Team and a music therapist will provide an education session lasting one hour. During this session, members of the Adult Sickle Cell Team will share medical information, ask questions, and respond to any questions patients may have. The music therapist will then lead a music therapy session to teach skills for living with sickle cell disease. These sessions may include songwriting, hip-hop, playing instruments, recording sessions or music for relaxation.

To Learn More

To learn more about how music therapy plays an important role in patient care, please call
216-844-5298

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