Music Therapy And Quality Of Life

Music and the Quality of Life

Use of Music Therapy to Improve the Quality of Life of Advanced Cancer Patients
This research project concerns the effect of music therapy sessions on the quality of life people suffering from cancer disease. This pilot study was conducted with patients of Oncology Palliative Care Department an organization providing services to advanced cancer patients and their families in Poznań. The program in music therapy of cancer patients was begun last year ago. Music therapy for advanced cancer patients” is a quite new concept in Poland. The aim of this project is to define a potential of music therapy in meeting the needs of terminally ill patients with music therapist as a member of a multidisciplinary health care team. The purpose of this project is to outline the rationale of using music therapy in palliative care and present the preliminary observations on the impact of this therapeutic tool.

Music therapy is the intentional use of the properties and the potential of music and their impact on the human being, either as a form of psychosocial and spiritual support or as an adjunct intervention strategy to symptom management, nursing and medical care. Music therapy can improve the quality of life by addressing the emotional, spiritual and physical needs. (S. Munro).
For this study music therapy is defined as a form of psychotherapy using:
– relaxation and induction of an altered state of consciousness,
– classical music (baroque, classicism musica sedativa” ),
– practice of guiding during the music,
– spontaneous imagery from the patient and integration / processing after the music experience,
From another side, the foundation of the music therapy program is a cognitive-behavioral approach where music therapy interventions are designed to treat identified problems and allow for the expression of emotions while respecting the process inherent within the live musical dialogue (Orff’s instruments”).

The program in music therapy of Oncology Palliative Care Department was begun last year ago. Music therapist treated a variety of clinical needs of patients during the study. The music therapy sessions incorporated, singing, speech, discussion, movement, live music listening, receptive music listening, music and imagery, imaginary and relaxation, lyric discussion, song writing, music performance or music improvisation.

Subjects: A total of 14 patients of Day Care Center of Oncology Palliative Care Department in Poznań participated in this study. All patients were diagnosed as having terminal cancer. Types of cancer included: breast, brain, liver, pancreatic, esophagus, larynx. Patients took part in the study over 6 weeks period of time. During that period participants took part in 12 music therapy sessions consisting of different types of interventions. The subjects were three males and eleven females ranking in age 42-84 years old. Eight patients received 12 sessions, while six other patients received 3-5 sessions.
Criteria for subject participation were:
-a terminal cancer diagnosis was made,
-the subject was an adult,
-the subject resided in Day Care Center,
-the subject was able to answer question regarding perceived quality of life,
-and the subject consented to participation in the study.
Measures: Quality of Life was measured by Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) questions that provide a generic measure of self-reported health status. These questions pertain to various aspects of quality of life and can be grouped in eight dimensions: physical functioning, role-physical, role-emotional, bodily pain, vitality, mental health, social functioning, and general health. Higher scores on the SF-36 indicated a higher perceived quality of life.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects music therapy on the quality of life cancer patients in palliative care. It was preliminary investigation into clinical outcomes of hospice patients receiving music therapy Patients took part in the study over 6 weeks period of time. During that period eight patients received 12 sessions, while six other patients received 3-5 sessions. Quality of life was measured by the SF-36, a self-report tool administrated to patients with music therapist. All patients were able to complete the SF-36.
Results indicate that the music therapy can influence on the Quality of life people with cancer disease. There were no significant differences in results by age or gender of patients. Short term results indicated that music therapy sessions were most effective in increasing vitality and mental functioning. Long term results indicated that music therapy sessions were most effective in increasing vitality, mental, emotional and social functioning. There was a significant difference between the two groups combined on the QOL scores. There was also significant difference between the first and second QOL scores in the groups.
Quality of life was higher for those patients they received more music therapy sessions. Music therapy has no significant effect on patients’ physical functioning

Music therapy is the planned and creative use of music to attain and maintain health and well being. Music therapy can promote relaxation, reduce stress, relieve discomfort, reduce patient’s experience of pain and treatment related symptoms. Music therapy offers opportunities for increased self expression, positive experiences and an increased sense of meaning. By meeting patients’ changing needs, music therapy aims to improve their quality of life.
Music therapy can influence on emotional well-being, cognitive skills, communication abilities and social functioning people with cancer disease. Music therapy allows explore personal filings, emotions and makes positive changes in emotional states.
My short experiences with advanced cancer patients provided that music therapy can influence on the all aspects of the personality of human. Music therapy is a complementary, but a very important way of treatment”. It might be an essential component of improve quality of life of patients with cancer disease. Furthermore, it might be basic for planning effective programs of therapy and rehabilitation for patients that have special needs.

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