Music therapy can help cancer patients: Study

New studies report that listening to music has a psychological and a physical affect on the body, which can help cancer patients in their treatment

Music therapy can help cancer patients: Study

A research conducted by the Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, has established that listening music might be beneficial for cancer patients. The research suggests that music benefits people as it has a positive affect on one's psychological and physical health. Music improves quality of life as it aids in reducing symptoms of pain, fatigue and anxiety.

Associate Professor Joke Bradt of Drexel University said: "We have found that music therapy interventions specifically help improve patients' quality of life. These are important findings as these outcomes play an important role in patients' overall well-being."

This research was published in journal 'Cochrane Library'. It is based on the study of the impact of music. This is conducted by practicing music therapy and music medicines. In music therapy, trained therapists provide with a treatment involving an experience with personalised music. On the other hand, in case of music medication, doctors and/or nurses prescribe patients with a list of music that they must listen to. Following one of the two methods, a research is conducted on the cancer patients.

The review was conducted on 52 trials. During these trials, almost 3,431 cancer patients were studied upon. Out of these 52 experiments conducted, 29 were categorised under music medication, while 23 were noted to be of the nature of music therapy. While comparing the effectiveness of the two interventions, it was established that music therapy seemed to be a more promising treatment than music medicine.

Improvements were observed in case of the patients who tried the music treatments. These interventions with music drastically helped in alleviating anxiety. These also helped in easing down pain. However, these had minimum affect on fatigue.

These music therapies and prescriptions are effective because music helps lower down the rate of respiration, heart and blood pressure. Which in turn, causes the body to relax. Bradt, who was also a part of the team conducting the research, said: "The results of single studies suggest that music listening may reduce the need for anesthetics and analgesics, as well as decreased recovery time and duration of hospitalisation, but more research is needed for these outcomes." He added: "Both music medicine and music therapy interventions play an important role in cancer care but we didn't quite know yet which interventions may be best suited for which type of outcome."