A randomised controlled trial of the effect of music therapy and verbal relaxation on chemotherapy-induced anxiety
MT and Chemo Anxiety – Full PDF
Written by Mei-Feng Lin, Ya-Ju Hsieh, Yu-Yun Hsu, Susan Fetzer and Mei-Chi Hsu, in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Aims. To determine the effect of music therapy and verbal relaxation on state anxiety and anxiety-induced physiological
manifestations among patients with cancer before and after chemotherapy.
Background. Cancer and its treatment provoke a series of changes in the emotional sphere of the patient’s anxiety. Music
therapy and verbal relaxation had reported the anxiety reduction effect on patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy.
studies have been undertaken comparing music therapy and verbal relaxation in differentiating high–normal state anxiety
Design. A randomised controlled trial and permuted block design were used. Outpatient chemotherapy clinic operated by a
University medical centre in southern Taiwan.
Methods. Ninety-eight patients were randomised into three groups: the music therapy group received one-hour single music
session; the verbal relaxation group received 30 minutes of guided relaxation; the control group received usual care. Spielberger
State-Trait Anxiety Instrument, Emotional Visual Analog Scale, three biobehavioural indicators: skin temperature, heart rate
and consciousness level were measured during and after chemotherapy.
Result. Music therapy had a greater positive effect on postchemotherapy anxiety than verbal relaxation and control groups and
a signiﬁcantly increase in skin temperature. Patients with high state anxiety receiving music therapy had a greater drop in
postchemotherapy anxiety than did the normal state anxiety subsample.
Conclusions. Both music and verbal relaxation therapy are effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced anxiety. Thirty minutes
of intervention initiates anxiety reduction. Patients with high state anxiety receiving chemotherapy obtain the most beneﬁt from
music or verbal relaxation.
Relevance to clinical practice. Prior to chemotherapy, patients with high state anxiety must be sorted from all patients as they
are more responsive to interventions. Oncology nurses can offer music and verbal relaxation as adjuvant interventions to reduce
chemotherapy-induced anxiety and enhance the quality of care.