Some of the most groundbreaking work in the field of Music Therapy is done on the oncology unit. Oncology patients face unique challenges, such as stressful medical procedures and emotional issues affecting themselves and their families. Music Therapy addresses those challenges directly. By stimulating verbal or non-verbal expression of concerns and fears, Music Therapy activities can give empathic support to the terminally ill patient (Munro, 1988). It can also help the patient and family through the grieving process and provide an opportunity for closure (Gilbert 1977, Munro and Mount 1978, and Fagen 1982). Cook (1986) documents the effectiveness of Music Therapy as an appropriate treatment in the oncology setting. Other studies show a discernible link between music and increased immune response. One such study demonstrated that those subjects who received Music Therapy had a significant increase in salivary IgA, with a p=>.01 value (Lane 1991). The results of another study by Bartlett, Kaufman, and Smeltekop (1993) suggest a strong relationship between music listening and biochemical reactions involving interleukin-1 and cortisol production. Cotanch and Strum (1987) demonstrated that progressive muscle relaxation as used by music therapists was effective in reducing the chemotherapy side effects of vomiting and anorexia.
- To provide patients with creative opportunities to foster coping skills and expression of feelings toward: diagnosis, hospitalization, treatment, life changes, and death.
- To provide distraction from medical procedures.
- To provide a means to decrease nausea during chemotherapy.
- Patient will increase self-awareness as demonstrated by expression of feelings involving past, present, and future in life review.
- Patient will increase range of expressive behaviors through the use of verbal and nonverbal music activities.
- Patient will increase control over environment, pain, and treatment as noted by making choices in music activities, music selections, or relaxation.
- Patient will demonstrate increased self-esteem as demonstrated by positive, creative, and emotional verbalization and expression.
- Patient who is referred by nursing staff or physicians.
- Patient with an interest in music.
- Patient who exhibits characteristics of nervous tension, anxiety, discomfort and/or pain.
- Patient who is isolated or withdrawn, or who has difficulty expressing themselves or in accepting diagnosis.
- Patient who needs emotional support and guidance in understanding their disease, its course, treatment, or support to maintain a positive attitude.
Number in Group: Patients are usually seen individually unless the therapist deems that two patients could benefit from a session together in the same room.
Frequency: To be determined by the therapist according to the individual’s specific needs.