Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 307--311

Effect of music therapy on pain and anxiety levels of cancer patients: A pilot study


Department of Pain and Palliative Care, St John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Priyadharshini Krishnaswamy
Department of Pain and Palliative Care, St John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.185042

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Background: The pain associated with cancer is highly detrimental to the quality of life of the affected individuals. It also contributes to the anxiety of the patient. There is a need for a nonpharmacological approach in addition to the pharmacological therapy for the management of the pain for a more holistic improvement in the individual. With this study, we wish to achieve this through music. Objective: To assess the effect of music therapy on pain scores and anxiety levels of cancer patients with pain. Study Design: In this quantitative study, a comparative study was done on fourteen cancer patients admitted for pain relief under the Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, of a tertiary care hospital, having moderate to severe pain (numerical pain rating scale [NRS] - of 4 to 10). Subjects and Methods: Convenience sampling was used. Patients were allocated to test group or control group nonrandomly. The test group patients were subjected to music therapy for 20 min while the control group patients were kept occupied by talking to them for 20 min. The NRS scale was used to assess the pre- and post-interventional pain scores and the Hamilton anxiety rating scale was used to assess the pre- and post-interventional anxiety scores in the two groups. Statistics: Student's t-test was used for comparing the pre- and post-interventional data. Two sample t-test was used to compare the data obtained from the control and study groups. Results: Statistically significant reduction seen in the pain scores in the test group after music therapy (P = 0.003). No statistically significant reduction seen in the pain score in the control group (P = 0.356). There was a statistically significant reduction in the postintervention pain scores in the test group compared to the control group (P = 0.034). The reduction in anxiety levels in both groups after intervention was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Music therapy was found to lower the pain score of a patient who had received standard palliative care for pain reduction. It was also more effective than the act of talking in reducing the pain score. A study with a larger sample size should be undertaken to conclude that, music therapy can be used in addition to morphine and other painkillers to reduce pain as a part of a more holistic approach to palliative care strategies.






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