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MUSIC COUNTS. Kendal Dearlove. Issue:. Gaps exist in supportive care for young cancer patients. Music is important to most young people Music may be an effective way to help this group of patients cope with their disease and treatment. Studies. O’Callaghan et al (1)

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music counts


Kendal Dearlove



  • Gaps exist in supportive care for young cancer patients.
  • Music is important to most young people
  • Music may be an effective way to help this group of patients cope with their disease and treatment.

O’Callaghan et al (1)

    • 26 paediatric cancer patients and their parents
    • Mean age of 5.7y
    • Examined their perspectives on music and the role of music therapy in these children’s lives through semi structured interviews.

O’Callaghan et al (2)

    • 12 adolescents and young adults,
    • mean age 21y with cancer (AYA)
    • Examined their perspectives of music’s role in their lives.
    • Patients known to [email protected] were recruited and individual semi-structured interviews were used

Stinson et al (3)

    • 29 adolescents,
    • Mean age 15.1y, with cancer (AWC)
    • Examined their needs to inform the development of disease self-management programs.
    • Convenience sampling was used to recruit participants including 29 patients mean age 15.1y, 30 parents and 22 healthcare professionals and semi structured individual and focus group interviews were held.

Stinson et al (3)

    • Young cancer patients need more information about their disease and treatment and support services specifically tailored to their needs.
  • O’Callaghan et al (1) and O’Callaghan et al (2)
    • Use of music and music therapy for children, adolescents and young adults is beneficial in helping them to cope with their disease and treatment.

Results may be influenced by recruitment of participants who had received music therapy (1) (2).

  • Not all studies give the genders of the parents interviewed which may introduce gender bias in the results (3) (1).
  • Ethnicity was not given in any of the studies. The type and use of music young people are exposed to may be influenced by ethnicity and socioeconomic status (1) (2) (3).
  • Some studies limit their sample to Melbourne which reduces transferability of findings (1) (2).
  • Some focus groups were small or unvaried which may influence the views expressed (3).
  • Not all studies reached data saturation resulting in potential non-transferability of the findings (1) (2).

Music therapy was beneficial for the patients who received it.

  • As young cancer patients struggle with issues unique to their age group, music therapy may be a beneficial option for this group and should be offered in cancer treatment centres.
issues within radiation therapy departments
Issues within Radiation Therapy Departments
  • Music may not beappropriate for all ages, tastes
  • Awkward radio ads/ radio chat
  • Inappropriate songs
  • Radio replay driving staff mad
  • Traumatic sounds
potential solutions
Potential Solutions
  • Patients bringing CDs
  • Follow Digital trend
  • Eliminate unnecessary sounds
  • Find out about availability of music therapy services in your area
  • O’Callaghan et al. Support Care Cancer. 2011;19:779–788.

2. O’Callaghan et al. Support Care Cancer. 2012;20:687–697.

3. Stinson et al. J Cancer Surviv. 2012;6:278–286.