Background: High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT/ASCT) is a commonly used treatment for hematologic malignancies. The procedure causes significant psychological distress and no interventions have been demonstrated to improve mood in these patients. Music therapy has been shown to improve anxiety in a variety of acute medical settings. In the current study, the authors determined the effects of music therapy compared with standard care on mood during inpatient stays for HDT/ASCT.
Methods: Patients with hematologic malignancy admitted for HDT/ASCT at two sites (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio) were randomized to receive music therapy given by trained music therapists or standard care. Outcome was assessed at baseline and every 3 days after randomization using the Profile of Mood States.
Results: Of 69 patients registered in the study, follow-up data were available for 62 (90%). During their inpatient stay, patients in the music therapy group scored 28% lower on the combined Anxiety/Depression scale (P = 0.065) and 37% lower (P = 0.01) on the total mood disturbance score compared with controls.
Conclusions: Music therapy is a noninvasive and inexpensive intervention that appears to reduce mood disturbance in patients undergoing HDT/ASCT.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.