Effects of music therapy on spirituality with patients on a medical oncology/hematology unit: A mixed-methods approach

Erin Lane Cook, Michael J Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Despite considerable interest in the potential relationship between oncology and spirituality, it remains unclear how the spiritual wellbeing of patients is best addressed in health care environments. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of three music therapy doses on spirituality in patients on a medical oncology/hematology unit (. N=. 17). The researchers measured participants' faith, peace, and meaning by using the FACIT-Sp. tool (. Brady, Peterman, Fitchett, Mo, & Cella, 1999) at pre- and posttest during a randomized controlled design. The researchers also incorporated interviews from patients concerning potential effects of music therapy and spirituality. Quantitative results indicated significant between-group differences in peace and faith subscales, with participants in the music therapy condition having higher posttest means than participants in the control condition. Qualitative data tended to support the importance of music therapy in meeting spiritual needs: Results of a thematic analysis indicated music therapy helped participants feel closer to God and elevated their moods. Consistent with the literature base, participants noted that that spiritual needs should indeed be addressed during a person's time at the hospital. Limitations of the study, areas for future investigation, and implications for clinical practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Cancer
  • Faith
  • Mixed-methods
  • Music therapy
  • Oncology
  • Peace
  • Randomized
  • Spirituality


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