After initial diagnosis, surgery is often the first component of cancer treatment. Engaging post-operative inpatients in music therapy may distract them from negative symptoms and immediately elevate affective states. The purpose of this randomized effectiveness study was to determine the immediate effects of a single music therapy session on affective states in patients on a post-surgical oncology unit. The researchers investigated the following research question: What are the effects of 20 to 30-min of patient preferred live music and therapeutic interaction on the mood of patients on a surgical oncology unit? Participants (N=. 22) were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions in a single-session wait-list control design. As autonomy has been linked with coping and hospitalized patients tend to prefer receptive music therapy over active music therapy especially during initial sessions, participants were able to choose live music based on their preferences. Affective states were measured at pre- and posttest using the quick mood scale. Results indicated no between-group differences at pretest. There were significant posttest between-group differences in relaxation/anxiety with experimental participants having more favorable posttest scores than control participants. From the results of this randomized controlled effectiveness study, it seems that a single music therapy session can be an effective psychosocial intervention to immediately affect relaxation and anxiety for patients on a post-surgical oncology unit. Limitations of the study, suggestions for future research, and implications for clinical practice are provided.
- Live music
- Music therapy