Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting Mitigation With Music Interventions

Jason M. Kiernan, RN, MSN; Jody Conradi Stark, PhD, MT-BC; April H. Vallerand, PhD, RN, FAAN


Problem Identification: Despite three decades of studies examining music interventions as a mitigant of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), to date, no systematic review of this literature exists.

Literature Search: PubMed, Scopus, PsycInfo®, CINAHL®, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched. Keywords for all databases were music, chemotherapy, and nausea.

Data Evaluation: All studies were appraised for methodology and results.

Synthesis: 10 studies met inclusion criteria for review. Sample sizes were generally small and nonrandomized. Locus of control for music selection was more often with the investigator rather than the participant. Few studies controlled for the emetogenicity of the chemotherapy administered, nor for known patient-specific risk factors for CINV.

Implications for Research: The existing data have been largely generated by nurse scientists, and implications for nursing practice are many, because music interventions are low-cost, easily accessible, and without known adverse effects. However, this specific body of knowledge requires additional substantive inquiry to generate clinically relevant data.

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