???Music has extraordinary healing powers. It???s medicine for the mind and body ??? it can reduce anxiety and pain, promote healing, boost spirits, and inspire patients.??? - Lanie Francis, MD, Hillman Cancer Center
Even as cancer therapies improve, patients undergoing chemotherapy or bone marrow biopsy procedures can struggle with the emotional and physical demands of treatment — including anxiety, fatigue, pain, and depression — and the desire to have some control over their lives.
With funding from the Beckwith Institute, an Oncology Music Library will be created to provide customized music therapy to oncology patients during treatment at the Hillman Cancer Center. The project aims to ease the burden of patients’ oncology experiences while also improving their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Improvements in Action
Through the Oncology Music Library project, multiple playlists will be created and adapted for oncology patients. These customized playlists will incorporate genres of music, symptoms, and specific cancer-related events, such as a new diagnosis, first chemotherapy, and recurrence.
Apple iPods® with docking stations and speakers will be purchased for biopsy procedure rooms while iPods with headphones will be purchased for chemotherapy areas. Supplies to maintain, clean, and sanitize all equipment also will be bought. The playlists will be piloted at the Hillman Cancer Center initially with patients receiving bone marrow biopsies and, later, with patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Results — In Progress
Providing oncology patients with customized music therapy during treatment is expected to lessen symptoms and improve quality of life by helping to create a more hopeful and aesthetically pleasing experience. It will also help to provide coping mechanisms and encourage resilience.
The Beckwith Institute is a fully endowed fund of UPMC.