An assessment of the value of music therapy for haemato-oncology patients
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An assessment of the value of music therapy for haemato-oncology patients

Neil Foster Lead music therapist, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Croydon
Theresa Wiseman Strategic lead for allied health professional and nursing research, risk and clinical services, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London
Kjell Pennert Lead for statistics, clinical research and development, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London

Live, interactive music making can support inpatients’ wellbeing and provide relief from symptoms of disease and feelings of isolation, say Neil Foster and colleagues

The aim of this service evaluation was to assess the value of music therapy for adult haemato-oncology inpatients and add data to the limited literature. A mixed methods approach was adopted, combining semi-structured interviews with pre- and post-session assessments of mood and anxiety using a happy/sad faces tool and a single visual analogue scale. Three themes emerged from the interviews: affirming life, meaning and identity, and addressing isolation. The pre- and post-session assessments indicated significant improvements in mood and anxiety. Music therapy may support the wellbeing of adult haemato-oncology inpatients, providing relief from symptoms and anxiety through meaningful experiences that are pleasurable and life-affirming.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 5, 22-28. doi: 10.7748/cnp.13.5.22.e1061


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

This evaluation was funded by Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity, and the Friends of the Royal Marsden

Received: 12 December 2013

Accepted: 13 May 2014

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