Bulfone, T., Quattrin, R., Zanotti, R., Regattin, L., & Brusaferro, S. (2009). Effectiveness of music therapy for anxiety reduction in women with breast cancer in chemotherapy treatment. Holistic Nursing Practice, 23, 238–242.doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e3181aeceee
To evaluate the effect of musical therapy on anxiety in patients with breast cancer receiving conventional treatment
Patients were randomly assigned to the music or control group. While in the waiting room for 30 minutes prior to chemotherapy treatment, those assigned to the music group had the opportunity to choose and listen to pretaped musical themes with a Walkman and earphones for 15 minutes. Control patients received standard care. Anxiety levels were measured at baseline and after 15 minutes.
Patients were undergoing the active treatment phase of care.
A randomized controlled trial design was used.
Speilberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventories
There were no differences between groups in pretreatment anxiety levels. Both groups demonstrated moderate pretreatment anxiety levels. Pretreatment state anxiety levels were higher than trait anxiety levels in both groups (p < 0.05). Post-test anxiety scores in the experimental group decreased by 9.9 (p < 0.001). In the control group, there was no significant change, although anxiety increased slightly after 15 minutes. There were no significant relationships between anxiety scores and demographic variables.
Listening to music may reduce anxiety related to chemotherapy administration. The levels of state anxiety compared to trait anxiety indicates that chemotherapy treatment is a stressful situation for patients.
Chemotherapy administration can be stressful for patients, and listening to music prior to treatment may be helpful to them. Providing the opportunity to listen to music is a simple intervention that has no inherent risks to patients and could easily be incorporated into practice in healthcare settings.