Li, X.M., Zhou, K.N., Yan, H., Wang, D.L., & Zhang, Y.P. (2012). Effects of music therapy on anxiety of patients with breast cancer after radical mastectomy: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68, 1145–1155.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05824.x
To evaluate the effects of music therapy on anxiety in women undergoing breast cancer surgery
Patients admitted to the hospital for mastectomy were randomly assigned to receive either music therapy or usual care. Patients in the intervention group listened to music they selected through a headphone connected to an MP3 player during their hospital stay. Music was provided twice daily for 30 minutes per session. The total time in the hospital receiving therapy was an average of 13.6 days following radical mastectomy and 18.9 days for chemotherapy. Assessments were done at baseline on the day before surgery, the day before hospital discharge, on second hospital admission for chemotherapy, and on a third hospital admission for chemotherapy.
Patients were undergoing active antitumor treatment.
A randomized controlled trial design was used.
State Anxiety Inventory
Pretest results showed that patients had moderate to severe anxiety levels prior to surgery. Mean post-test anxiety scores were lower in the experimental group, on the first post-test 4.57 points, and increasing across time to 9.69 points lower at the final post-test (p < 0.0001). Mean anxiety scores declined over time in all patients.
Findings suggest that listening to music can be beneficial in reducing anxiety during treatment for breast cancer.
Listening to music is a simple and low-cost intervention that may be helpful for some patients in reducing anxiety associated with cancer treatment.