Due to the extensive procedures surrounding treatment, cancer patients often experience a variety of physical and psychological symptoms and side effects that negatively impact their quality of life and ability to cope with and manage an illness. Providing a choice of music during a receptive music therapy session may not only distract the patient from negative affective states, but also may provide a sense of autonomy and control over a patient's immediate environment. The purpose of the study was to determine whether receptive music therapy can improve two general dimensions of emotional experience and pain in a single session for hospitalized patients recovering from a blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) procedure. The guiding research question was: Will participants experience improved positive and negative affect and pain immediately following a patient-preferred live music therapy session? Participants (N= 32) were randomly assigned to experimental or wait-list control conditions and completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) Short Form version and a Likert-type Pain Scale as a pre- and posttest within a single-session design. In an attempt to provide support, autonomy, and distraction, patient-preferred live music was used in receptive music therapy sessions as previous music therapy researchers indicated patient-selected live music is preferred and can be effective. There were no between-group differences at pretest. Concerning posttest analyses, there were significant between-group differences in positive and negative affect and pain, with experimental participants having more favorable scores than control participants. From the results of this randomized effectiveness study, it seems that a single receptive music therapy session can be an effective intervention concerning positive and negative affect and pain for hospitalized BMT patients. As higher levels of patient engagement may result in stronger treatment effects, future research encouraging hospitalized BMT patients to engage in different types of active music therapy interventions is warranted. Limitations of the study, implications for clinical practice, and suggestions for future research are provided.
- Blood and marrow transplant
- Music therapy