Although patient-preferred live music (PPLM) can be an effective music therapy intervention for addressing cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in adult oncology patients, there is a gap in the literature specific to patients’ experiences of how PPLM impacts CRF. The primary purpose of this interpretivist study was to understand the mechanisms by which PPLM impacts CRF from the patients’ perspectives. The secondary purpose was to gain insight into patients’ song choice rationales and their ensuing function within PPLM. We provided PPLM and conducted semi-structured interviews with adult oncology patients (N = 5) on a blood and marrow transplant unit. We used an inductive approach to thematic analysis to analyze interview transcripts and achieved trustworthiness through independent analyses of transcripts as well as peer review of codes and themes. Participants described how PPLM provided CRF symptomatic relief by facilitating emotional release and being an aesthetically pleasing distraction. Participants noted they chose songs because of memorable experiences and for musical elements and components, while explaining that PPLM facilitated reminiscence, promoted relaxation and restful states, and encouraged reflection through the lyrics. Results provide an initial patient-centric understanding of how and why PPLM might impact CRF. Implications for clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are provided.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by the Graduate Summer Research Fellowship from the School of Music and College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.
© The Author(s) 2020.
- blood marrow transplant
- music therapy
- patient-preferred live music