Effects of Listening to Music on the Comfort of Chemotherapy Patients

West J Nurs Res. 2017 Jun;39(6):745-762. doi: 10.1177/0193945916660527. Epub 2016 Aug 11.


The symptoms of an illness that requires chemotherapy and the corresponding effects of such treatment exacerbate the pain and discomfort that patients typically experience. Listening to music may help patients cope with chemotherapy symptoms, thereby contributing to their physical ease and well-being. Seventy patients who were receiving treatment at the outpatient chemotherapy unit were invited to participate in this work. During chemotherapy sessions and the week after the sessions, the patients listened to music with headphones. The occurrence of chemotherapy symptoms such as pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, not feeling well, and shortness of breath in the intervention group was statistically significant after listening to music ( p < .05). Improvements in total general comfort, as well as physical, psychospiritual, and sociocultural comfort, were also statistically significant ( p < .05). These findings indicate that listening to music effectively reduces the severity of chemotherapy symptoms and enhances the comfort of patients receiving the treatment.

Keywords: chemotherapy; comfort; listening to music.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Female
  • Holistic Nursing / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy / methods
  • Music Therapy / standards*
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Comfort / methods
  • Patient Comfort / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey