Music therapy ‘aids cancer patients’

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Listening to music may help cancer patients by reducing anxiety, alleviating pain and improving quality of life, a study has found.

Scientists analysed evidence from almost 2,000 patients taking part in 30 trials.

Some simply listened to pre-recorded music while others had controlled experience sessions with trained music therapists.

Compared with standard treatments, music significantly reduced clinical anxiety scores, said the Cochrane Library researchers.

Music was also found to improve mood and help control pain, but it had no impact on depression.

Some trials reported much bigger benefits than others.

“The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to people with cancer,” said lead researcher Dr Joke Bradt, from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

“Music interventions provided by trained music therapists as well as listening to pre-recorded music have both shown positive outcomes in this review, but at this time there is not enough evidence to determine if one intervention is more effective than the other.”