BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced cancer, receiving at-home palliative care, are subject to numerous symptoms that are changeable and often require attention, a stressful situation that also impacts on the family caregiver. It has been suggested that music therapy may benefit both the patient and the caregiver. We propose a study to analyse the efficacy and cost utility of a music intervention programme, applied as complementary therapy, for cancer patients in palliative care and for their at-home caregivers, compared to usual treatment.
METHOD: A randomised, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial will be performed in cancer patients in at-home palliative care and their family caregivers. The study population will include two samples of 40 patients and two samples of 41 caregivers. Participants will be randomly assigned either to the intervention group or to the control group. The intervention group will receive a seven-day programme including music sessions, while the control group will receive seven sessions of (spoken word) therapeutic education. In this study, the primary outcome measure is the assessment of patients' symptoms, according to the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System, and of the overload experienced by family caregivers, measured by the Caregiver Strain Index. The secondary outcomes considered will be the participants' health-related quality of life, their satisfaction with the intervention, and an economic valuation.
DISCUSSION: This study is expected to enhance our understanding of the efficacy and cost-utility of music therapy for cancer patients in palliative care and for their family caregivers. The results of this project are expected to be applicable and transferrable to usual clinical practice for patients in home palliative care and for their caregivers. The approach described can be incorporated as an additional therapeutic resource within comprehensive palliative care. To our knowledge, no previous high quality studies, based on a double-blind clinical trial, have been undertaken to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of music therapy. The cost-effectiveness of the project will provide information to support decision making, thereby improving the management of health resources and their use within the health system.
La créativité fait partie des nombreuses possibilités de ce que permet la musicothérapie en soins palliatifs. Le mouvement qui accompagne toute écoute, toute création, si infime soit-il selon les disponibilités physiques ou psychiques du patient, résulte de cette capacité à mettre en valeur le patient en tant que personne. Dans des circonstances où le plaisir n'est pas le premier sentiment auquel on pense, il est possible d'éprouver cette sensation d'avoir réalisé quelque chose de beau ensemble.
Background: The palliative care unit is an emotionally challenging place where patients and their families may feel at loss. Art can allow the expression of complex feelings. We aimed to examine how cancer patients hospitalized in the palliative care unit experienced a musical intervention.
Methods: We conducted a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews. The study took place in a palliative care unit from 18 January 2017 to 17 May 2017. Two artists performed in the palliative care unit once a week from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. The data from patient interviews were analysed based on an inductive approach to the verbatim accounts.
Results: The accounts we gathered led us to weigh the positive emotions engendered by this musical intervention against the potential difficulties encountered. The artists opened a parenthesis in the care process and brought joy and well-being to the palliative care unit. Patients also encountered difficulties during the intervention: reference to an altered general state, to loss of autonomy; a sense of the effort required, of fatigue; an adaptation period; reference to the end of life, to death; a difficulty in choosing songs.
Conclusions: Although music appeared to benefit the patients, it sometimes reminded them of their altered state. The difficulties experienced by patients during the experience were also related to physical exhaustion. Additional studies are needed to determine the benefits of music for patients and their families in the palliative care unit.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics of bereaved caregivers submitted to post-loss music therapy.
METHOD: This is a cross-sectional database from a randomized clinical trial that performed music therapy for caregivers who lost their loved ones to cancer. The following variables were used for this analysis: sociodemographic, religious beliefs, previous sound-musical experiences, and experiences related to care, loss and repair processes. Descriptive statistical analyzes were performed.
RESULTS: Of the 69 participants, 85.5% had a strong bond/secure attachment with their loved ones; 68.1% followed a long death and dying process (> 6 months), which was related to a chronic disease; 88.4% did not participate in conspiracy of silence, suggesting a satisfactory communication; 60.9% reported receiving spiritual/religious support, suggesting healthy and continent support; and all participated in funeral rites.
CONCLUSION: The process of elaborating the bereavement of caregivers indicated the presence of protective factors.
The patient wanted to hear opera arias because they were a reflection of what she once was.
We were alone in the room: just me, her, and my flute. I played her the most ethereal melodies from opera’s storied repertoire. She recognized them. She smiled. She warmed up, perhaps for the first time since entering the hospital.
The patient was a 60-year-old woman with ovarian cancer. When I first met her, she had already been in the hospital for 2 weeks. Diagnosed as having recurrent small bowel obstruction and having undergone exploratory surgery, her prognosis did not look good. Members of the multidisciplinary medical team—the palliative care physician, oncologist, chaplain, social worker, and nurses—were all having trouble getting through to her. They reported that she was unwilling to accept the fact that there was no more curative treatment for her cancer.
OBJECTIVES: Music therapy has been shown to be effective for reducing anxiety and pain in people with a serious illness. Few studies have investigated the feasibility of integrating music therapy into general inpatient care of the seriously ill, including the care of diverse, multiethnic patients. This leaves a deficit in knowledge for intervention planning. This study investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing music therapy for patients on 4 inpatient units in a large urban medical center. Capacitated and incapacitated patients on palliative care, transplantation, medical intensive care, and general medicine units received a single bedside session led by a music therapist.
METHODS: A mixed-methods, pre-post design was used to assess clinical indicators and the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. Multiple regression modeling was used to evaluate the effect of music therapy on anxiety, pain, pulse, and respiratory rate. Process evaluation data and qualitative analysis of observational data recorded by the music therapists were used to assess the feasibility of providing music therapy on the units and patients' interest, receptivity, and satisfaction.
RESULTS: Music therapy was delivered to 150 patients over a 6-month period. Controlling for gender, age, and session length, regression modeling showed that patients reported reduced anxiety post-session. Music therapy was found to be an accessible and adaptable intervention, with patients expressing high interest, receptivity, and satisfaction.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: This study found it feasible and effective to introduce bedside music therapy for seriously ill patients in a large urban medical center. Lessons learned and recommendations for future investigation are discussed.
OBJECTIVES: Recent evidence suggests that music therapy, a holistic method of care, potentially is beneficial for symptom management. This quality improvement project aimed to evaluate the effect of music therapy on symptom management and coping skills of patients receiving palliative care and to measure patient satisfaction with the therapy. A secondary aim was to evaluate staff perception of patient outcomes of music therapy services.
METHODS: Palliative care clinicians attended a 30-minute education session on music therapy before the project was initiated. Study participants were patients and their families who were cared for by the inpatient palliative care consulting service at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) from June 1 through December 31, 2016. Patients were eligible if they required ongoing management of pain and anxiety or needed adaptive coping strategies. Patients and families were asked to complete a survey after each music therapy session. Staff were asked to complete a survey after completion of the project.
RESULTS:: Music therapy was provided to 57 patients and 53 family members. Patient surveys indicated a decrease in anxiety and pain. All patients reported that music therapy facilitated stress relief, relaxation, pain relief, spiritual support, emotional support, and a general feeling of wellness. All participants recommended music therapy services for others. Palliative care clinicians reported that music therapy added value as a holistic service.
CONCLUSIONS:: In this quality improvement project, music therapy positively affected multiple domains of well-being for patients receiving palliative care.
Les mots "soins palliatifs" génèrent de nombreuses émotions pour le patient à qui le diagnostic est posé. Quand il n’y a plus rien à faire, tout reste à construire… Tout reste à "écrire", à "dire", à "vivre". L’accompagnement en soins palliatifs prend sens lorsqu’il s’inscrit dans une dynamique pluridisciplinaire. La musicothérapie vient donc prendre place dans ce travail d’équipe. Après avoir rencontré le patient lors d’un bilan psychomusical, le musicothérapeute pourra donc proposer un accompagnement personnalisé et adapté aux besoins et aux possibilités de celui-ci. Dans cet article, nous avons fait le choix de vous présenter deux techniques de musicothérapie réceptive, que nous développons dans nos pratiques cliniques en pédiatrie et en gériatrie.
BACKGROUND: Although patients in palliative care commonly report high emotional and spiritual needs, effective psychosocial treatments based on high quality studies are rare. First research provides evidence for benefits of psychosocial interventions in advanced cancer care. To specifically address end-of-life care requirements, life review techniques and creative-arts based therapies offer a promising potential. Therefore, the present study protocol presents a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a newly developed music therapy technique that is based on a biographically meaningful song ("Song of Life"; SOL).
METHODS: In a design with two parallel arms, 104 patients at two palliative care units will be randomly assigned to three sessions of either SOL (experimental group) or relaxation exercises (control group). Improvements in the psychological domain of quality of life will be the primary endpoint, while secondary outcomes encompass spiritual well-being, ego-integrity, overall quality of life, and distress. Additionally, caregivers will be asked to provide feedback about the treatment. Assessment of biopsychological stress markers and qualitative analysis of perceived strengths and weaknesses will complement data collection.
DISCUSSION: Based on the results of a previous pilot study, we dedicated considerable efforts to optimizing the intervention and selecting appropriate outcomes for the present trial. We are confident to have designed a methodologically rigorous study that will contribute to the evidence-base and help to develop the potential of psychosocial interventions in palliative care.
BACKGROUND: Evidence about the effectiveness of music therapy for improving the quality of life of palliative care patients is positive but weak in terms of risk of bias.
METHODS: This study aimed to determine the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy for improving the quality of life of hospice inpatients, as measured by the McGill Quality of Life questionnaire. Objectives included recruitment of 52 participants over 12 months and provision of data to support the calculation of the required sample size for a definitive randomised trial, taking into account the retention rates of recruited participants; and evaluation of the viability of the intervention and the acceptability of the assessment tool. The design was a single-centre, researcher-blinded randomised pilot and feasibility study involving two parallel groups. Participants were recruited from one inpatient hospice unit in Northern Ireland. Eligibility criteria were an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of two or lower and an Abbreviated Mental Test score of seven or more. Consenting patients were randomly allocated to the intervention or control group using a 1:1 allocation ratio. The intervention group received up to six individual music therapy sessions over 3 weeks in addition to usual care. The control group received usual care only.
RESULTS: Fifty one participants were recruited over 12 months. Twenty five were allocated to the intervention group and 26 to the control group. Seventy one percent of participants were lost to follow up by week 3, the proposed primary endpoint. The primary endpoint was moved from week 3, when 71% were lost to follow up to week 1, when 33% were lost. The McGill Quality of Life questionnaire was generally acceptable to participants. In order to detect a small to moderate effect size of 0.3, a fully powered study would require the recruitment of 698 participants.
CONCLUSIONS: A Phase III randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the quality of life of hospice inpatients is feasible.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02791048 . Registered 6 June 2016.
CONTEXT: The quality of death has increasingly raised concern because of the physical and psychological suffering of patients with advanced disease. Music therapy has been widely used in palliative care; however, its physical and mental effectiveness remains unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of music therapy during palliative care in improving physiology and psychology outcomes.
METHODS: Randomized controlled trials evaluating music therapy for terminally ill patients were searched and included from inception up to April 25, 2018. The quality of the studies was assessed using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Handbook Version 5.1.0.
RESULTS: In this study, eleven randomized controlled trials (inter-rater agreement, =0.86) involving 969 participants were included. The quality of the included studies ranged from moderate to high. Compared to general palliative care, music therapy can reduce pain (SMD: -0.44, 95% CI: -0.60 to -0.27, p<0.00001) and improve the quality of life (SMD: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.41 to 0.82, p<0.00001) in terminally ill patients. In addition, anxiety, depression, and emotional function are improved as well. However, no significant differences were found in the patient’s physical status, fatigue, and social function.
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis study demonstrated that music therapy served as an effective intervention to alleviate pain and psychological symptoms of terminally ill patients. However, considering the limitation of the quantity of the studies included, these results would need to be further confirmed.
This paper reports on research exploring the effects of music played for 12 dyads: a care home resident ('resident') with dementia and someone closely connected to him/her ('carer'). Six individualised music interventions (3 live and 3 pre-recorded) were played by the first author on solo cello within five Scottish non-NHS care homes. All interventions were video-recorded. Semi-structured interviews with carer participants, key staff, and managers explored their responses to interventions. Thick descriptions of video recordings and interview transcripts were thematically coded using Nvivo. A key finding was that structural elements of the interventions combined with characteristics of the music played facilitated an internalised experience of 'haven'; sonically transporting listeners away from their present reality and fulfilling the basic human needs for inclusion, comfort, identity, occupation and attachment.
Music therapists have described powerful case examples and personal experiences of providing music therapy for clients who are actively dying that suggest a complex experience that merits further exploration. This phenomenological study was conducted to gain a better understanding of the lived experience of music therapists working with clients who are actively dying. Four music therapists (2 female, 2 male), with an average of 10 years' hospice care experience, participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using a phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994). Ten themes were distilled from the interviews and grouped into four categories: ongoing assessment, intuitive processes, countertransference, and the role of aesthetics and transformation. Participants described a flexible, dynamic clinical and personal process informed by ongoing assessment. These findings point to the importance of further discussion surrounding the clinical implications of the music therapist's internal experience and the role of assessment, intuition, and aesthetics in hospice music therapy.
Although singing is an inherent part of grieving in many cultures, relatively little research has been conducted on how singing is experienced by adults in bereavement support group contexts. The purpose of this study was to examine the singing experiences of seven female adults who participated in a postloss bereavement support music therapy group that took place in a community hospice. Individual interviews were conducted with all participants, who also had the option of submitting written feedback after each group singing session. This feedback, along with interview transcripts, was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This resulted in seven narrative summary interpretations that represent explicit and implicit aspects of each individual’s lived experience of singing in this context. Cross case analysis revealed themes organised under five categories, supported with participant quotes. Potential implications for research and practice are presented.
BACKGROUND: The pain, anxiety, and stress associated with end-of-life care are paramount issues to address for both patients and their families. Reduction in these factors could translate to improved quality of life.
OBJECTIVE: We studied the effect of adding music to standard care for patients receiving a hospice or palliative care consult at 2 hospitals in the Care New England health-care system. In this mixed quantitative and qualitative study, we implemented live music intervention sessions.
DESIGN/MEASUREMENTS: Outcomes include symptom burden pre- and post-intervention using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, opioid use in equivalent time periods before and after the music intervention, and qualitative personal narratives of patients' and families' experiences with the music.
RESULTS: There were significant decreases in pain, anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, and feelings of depression along with significant increase in feelings of well-being. Opioid use in time periods after the music intervention trended toward decreased usage when compared to the equivalent time period before. Finally, compiled personal narratives of patients' and families' experiences of the music intervention demonstrated common themes of spirituality, comfort, relaxation, escape, and reflection.
CONCLUSIONS: This project demonstrated the beneficial effects of music in a patient population that struggles with symptom management when only pharmacologic management is used. These data elucidate biological and psychosocial factors that are positively impacted by the intervention. With additional evidence in music as well as other artistic modalities, it is promising that arts-based programs in inpatient hospice and palliative care settings will continue to expand and flourish.
Music is known to have the power to induce strong emotions. The present study assessed, based on Electroencephalography (EEG) data, the emotional response of terminally ill cancer patients to a music therapy intervention in a randomized controlled trial. A sample of 40 participants from the palliative care unit in the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona was randomly assigned to two groups of 20. The first group [experimental group (EG)] participated in a session of music therapy (MT), and the second group [control group (CG)] was provided with company. Based on our previous work on EEG-based emotion detection, instantaneous emotional indicators in the form of a coordinate in the arousal-valence plane were extracted from the participants' EEG data. The emotional indicators were analyzed in order to quantify (1) the overall emotional effect of MT on the patients compared to controls, and (2) the relative effect of the different MT techniques applied during each session. During each MT session, five conditions were considered:I(initial patient's state before MT starts),C1(passive listening),C2(active listening),R(relaxation), andF(final patient's state). EEG data analysis showed a significant increase in valence (p= 0.0004) and arousal (p= 0.003) between I and F in the EG. No significant changes were found in the CG. This results can be interpreted as a positive emotional effect of MT in advanced cancer patients. In addition, according to pre- and post-intervention questionnaire responses, participants in the EG also showed a significant decrease in tiredness, anxiety and breathing difficulties, as well as an increase in levels of well-being. No equivalent changes were observed in the CG.
OBJECTIVES: Music therapy (MT) holds a promising potential to meet emotional and existential needs in palliative care patients. The aim of the present pilot study was to assess the feasibility, acceptance and potential effectiveness of a novel MT intervention to improve life closure and spiritual well-being of terminally ill patients with cancer receiving palliative care.
METHODS: The 'Song of Life' (SOL) intervention was provided on two consecutive sessions containing a biographical interview and a live performance of a song with high biographical relevance to the patient in a lullaby style. Pre-to-post intervention assessments comprised brief self-report measures on life closure, well-being, stress, worry and pain.
RESULTS: 13 out of 15 patients were able to complete the protocol as intended. The chosen songs were associated with a close person, an important place or event or with a religious belief. The results showed medium-sized improvements with regard to life closure, well-being, relaxation, worry and pain.
CONCLUSION: 'SOL' proved to be a feasible and highly accepted intervention for patients approaching the end of their lives. Further consideration with regard to the procedures and outcomes is necessary before implementation of a randomised trial.
Le musicien de variétés, devenu musicothérapeute, interroge le rôle actif que peut jouer la musique dans les soins apportés aux malades souffrant de la maladie d'Alzheimer ou de pathologies similaires. Alors que la mémoire peut faire défaut, la musique, liée aux souvenirs intimes, permet parfois de reprendre conscience et d'exprimer des émotions enfouies.
Music therapy aligns to the holistic approach to palliative and end-of-life care (PEOLC), with an emergent evidence base reporting positive effect on a range of health-related outcomes for both patient and family carer alongside high client demand. However, the current service provision and the role of music therapists in supporting individuals receiving PEOLC in the UK is currently unknown.
OBJECTIVES: This service evaluation aims to identify the provision, role and perceived impact of UK music therapists in supporting patients receiving PEOLC, their families and health and social care professionals.
METHODS: A survey was distributed to the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT) member mailing list in July 2017. BAMT is the professional body for Health and Care Professions Council registered music therapists in the UK.
RESULTS: Fifty respondents identified themselves as music therapists currently working with clients receiving PEOLC. The respondents largely reported (84.7%) less than 10 years of experience working in PEOLC settings, with only a minority receiving statutory funding for their role. Music therapists most commonly reported supporting adults with neurological conditions, cancers and dementia.
CONCLUSIONS: Although promising that evidence suggests provision of music therapy in UK PEOLC settings in the past 10 years to have increased, lack of sustainable funding suggests the role to not be consistently accessible in PEOLC.
BACKGROUND: The use of music as therapy in multidisciplinary end-of-life care dates back to the 1970s and nowadays music therapy (MT) is one of the most frequently used complementary therapy in in-patient palliative care in the US. However existing research investigated music therapy's potential impact mainly from one perspective, referring to either a quantitative or qualitative paradigm. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the users' and providers' perspectives on music therapy in palliative care within one research article.
METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted using several databases supplemented with a hand-search of journals between November 1978 and December 2016. Inclusion criteria were: Music therapy with adults in palliative care conducted by a certified music therapist. Both quantitative and qualitative studies in English, German or a Scandinavian language published in peer reviewed journals were included. We aimed to identify and discuss the perspectives of both patients and health care providers on music therapy's impact in palliative care to forward a comprehensive understanding of it's effectiveness, benefits and limitations. We investigated themes mentioned by patients within qualitative studies, as well as commonly chosen outcome measures in quantitative research. A qualitative approach utilizing inductive content analysis was carried out to analyze and categorize the data.
RESULTS: Twelve articles, reporting on nine quantitative and three qualitative research studies were included. Seven out of the nine quantitative studies investigated pain as an outcome. All of the included quantitative studies reported positive effects of the music therapy. Patients themselves associated MT with the expression of positive as well as challenging emotions and increased well-being. An overarching theme in both types of research is a psycho-physiological change through music therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Both quantitative as well as qualitative research showed positive changes in psycho-physiological well-being. The integration of the users´ and providers´ perspectives within future research applicable for example in mixed-methods designs is recommended.