Addressing the need for personalizing music therapy in integrative oncology

J Integr Med. 2022 Jul;20(4):281-283. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.01.005. Epub 2022 Jan 17.


Music therapy is an integrative oncology practice that has been rapidly emerging, over the past two decades, as a field of its own, clinically and academically. The randomized controlled trials that evaluate the clinical impact of music therapy are growing in number, and at the same time, there has been progress in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that underly the beneficial effects of music therapy. Cultural background and autobiographical memories may uniquely influence music perception and cognition. It is vital to personalize music therapy because music preferences are unique; one size does not fit all. Cognitive music science studies and clinical music therapy trials that study individualized music choices will serve as a vital step forward in providing patient-directed personalized integrative cancer care. The field of music therapy is advancing, and its ability to improve a patient's quality of life can be understood only through robust, personalized, evidence-based initiatives that focus on research, advocacy, education, and delivery of care.

Keywords: Integrative medicine; Integrative oncology; Music therapy; Palliative care; Supportive care.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Integrative Oncology*
  • Music Therapy*
  • Music* / psychology
  • Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Quality of Life