Mitigation of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea Using Adjunct Music Listening: A Pilot Study

Clin Nurs Res. 2023 Mar;32(3):469-477. doi: 10.1177/10547738221149895. Epub 2023 Feb 6.


The persistence of chemotherapy-induced nausea (CIN) underscores the need to consider nonpharmacologic treatments such as music listening as adjunct interventions. This pilot study investigated the feasibility and overall effects of a 30-minute adjunct music listening intervention in 12 patients experiencing CIN. Music listening was started at the time participants took their as-needed antiemetic medication, and it was repeated as needed during the 5 days after chemotherapy. Data for 66 music listening engagements were collected. A significant reduction of nausea severity (t = 10.97, p < .001) and distress (t = 9.86, p < .001) was noted overall, as well as significant reductions when examining the acute and delayed phases of nausea individually. Qualitative data on study feasibility demonstrated the intervention was well received by participants and held minimal operational difficulty. Investigator feasibility data suggested good understanding of data collection tools. Improvements to the study design have been collected and will form the basis of the future randomized controlled trial.

Keywords: chemotherapy-induced nausea; music; music listening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Music Therapy*
  • Music*
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Pilot Projects


  • Antineoplastic Agents