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Live music intervention for cancer inpatients: The Music Givers format

Journal title
Palliative & supportive care
Publication year
Toccafondi, A.; Bonacchi, A.; Mambrini, A.; Miccinesi, G.; Prosseda, R.; Cantore, M.

ABSTRACTObjective:The present study intended to evaluate the impact of a standardized format-called the "Music Givers," based on a single session of music intervention followed by a buffet-on the psychological burden and well-being of hospitalized cancer patients. METHOD: The Distress Thermometer (DT), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and self-reported visual analogue scales (score range = 1-10) to assess pain, fatigue, and five areas of well-being (i.e., physical, psychological, relational, spiritual, and overall well-being) were administered to 242 cancer patients upon admission to and at discharge from the hospital. Among them, 103 were hospitalized during which time a live concert took place (intervention group), whereas 139 patients were hospitalized when it did not (control group). RESULTS: Compared to the control group, patients in the intervention group demonstrated less distress at discharge according to the DT (adjusted estimate of difference = -0.8, p = 0.001), lower HADS-Anxiety (-1.7, p < 0.001) and HADS-Depression scores (-1.3, p = 0.001), and higher scores on all the well-being scales, with the exception of spiritual well-being. In addition, no between-group differences were found in terms of pain and fatigue scores at discharge. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The one-session format of the Music Givers intervention is an effective, standardized, easy-to-replicate, and low-cost intervention that reduces psychological burden and improves the well-being of hospitalized cancer patients. Listening to live music and the opportunity to establish better relationships between patients and staff could explain these results.

Research abstracts