Effects of Music Therapy on Spiritual Well-Being among Patients with Advanced Cancer in Palliative Care: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Nurul Huda, Kondwani Joseph Banda, An I. Liu, Tsai Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Patients with advanced cancer in palliative care often experience physical and psychological symptoms that negatively impact their quality of life (QoL) and spiritual well-being. Music therapy can be used for symptom management in these patients. However, the effectiveness is uncertain. To determine the effectiveness of music therapy on spiritual well-being, QoL, pain, and psychological distress using randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data Source: A systematic search was conducted in EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the ClinicalTrial.gov registry up to September 2022. Conclusion: The meta-analysis included seven RCTs with a total of 747 advanced cancer patients. Music therapy was found to significantly improve spiritual well-being with a mean difference of 0.43 (95% CI: 0.25 to 0.61, P < .001) in the intervention group compared to the control group. However, no significant group differences were found between the intervention and control groups for QoL (SMD: 0.53, 95% CI: –0.12 to 1.13, P = .11), pain (MD: –0.81, 95% CI: –2.06 to 0.44, P = .20), and psychological distress (SMD: –0.05, 95% CI: –0.41 to 0.32, P = .81). Music therapy can effectively improve the spiritual well-being of palliative care patients. However, its beneficial effects on QoL, pain, and psychological distress were minimal. Implications for Nursing Practice: Music therapy interventions can be introduced to help patients deal with spiritual/existential needs. Future studies should identify optimal characteristics of music therapy interventions to aid in enhancing the quality of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151481
JournalSeminars in Oncology Nursing
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • Meta-analysis
  • Music therapy
  • Palliative care
  • Spiritual well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)

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