The role of music therapy in the treatment of children with cancer: A systematic review of literature.

TitleThe role of music therapy in the treatment of children with cancer: A systematic review of literature.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsFacchini M, Ruini C
JournalComplement Ther Clin Pract
Date Published2021 Feb
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Music, Music Therapy, Neoplasms, Young Adult

BACKGROUND: and purpose: Music Therapy has become a consolidated strategy to relief stress in children during hospitalization, and previous research demonstrated its efficacy on individuals' health. This is a systematic review of literature on the application of music therapy with children and adolescent with cancer, with the aim of evaluating its feasibility and its benefits, in terms of physical and mental health.

METHODS: Database search was carried out via PubMed, PsycINFO and SCOPUS, using an age restriction of 0-24 years and the following keywords: (cancer OR oncology) AND music. Search was conducted from inception to June 2020.

RESULTS: From 462 studies retrieved, 19 were selected and included in this research, with 596 participants. They received three different types of music therapy: receptive music therapy (n = 4), active music therapy (n = 9) and the combined method of receptive and active interventions (n = 6). These studies indicated a significant reduction of psychological distress (n = 9) and an increase in well-being (n = 8). 8 articles evaluated the effects on subjective pain and other biological parameters, with inconclusive results.

CONCLUSION: Music therapy, in paediatric oncology, seems to have a good feasibility and positive effects on mental and physical health. Nevertheless, some critical issues have emerged, such as the heterogeneity of interventions and study designs, which make generalizability still difficult. These and other clinical implications are discussed.

Alternate JournalComplement Ther Clin Pract
PubMed ID33316592