Quarterly scientific journal

Music therapy as part of the alternative-complementary therapy in cancer patients in hospital

Efstratios Athanasakis , Savvato Karavassiliadou


Cancer is one of the modern health problems of people living in developed countries. Furthermore, therapeutic approaches to cancer patients is constantly updated with new data. Aim: The aim of the present study was to review the international literature referred to the application of music therapy in the treatment for pediatric and adult patients with cancer. Method and materials: The method of this study included bibliography research from both the review and the research literature on MEDLINE (2000-2010) database and using as key words music, music therapy, alternative-complementary therapy, cancer, children. Results: Music therapy, the last few years, seems to be one of the forms of alternative-complementary therapy for patients treated for cancer. Music therapy is applied as part of complementary therapy in pediatric and adult patients with cancer. Complementary-alternative methods are non-invasive, non-toxic, cheap, safe and can be easily used by the patients themselves. Primarily, the music therapy aimed to the reduction of the emotional trauma and the feeling of the pain during the process of the treatment (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, other painful procedures) but also in the whole patients life. Conclusions: Scientific bibliographic databases research concerning the music therapy in patients with cancer seem encouraging, especially in children. Nevertheless, the further study of the role of the music during hospitalization in the outcome of the treatment is essential.

Keywords: Music, music therapy, alternative-complementary therapy, cancer, children

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