Posts Tagged ‘quality of life’

Can Music Alleviate Cancer Patients’ Symptoms?

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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A new review published by Cochrane Library found that there is significant evidence that music interventions help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, pain, and fatigue in cancer patients, while also boosting their quality of life. Researchers looked at studies that examined the impact of music therapy (a personalized music experience provided by trained music therapists), and music medicine (listening to prerecorde4d music offered by by a doctor or nurse) on psychological and physical outcomes in people with cancer.

Researchers examined a total of 52 trials in the review that constituted 3,731 cancer participants. Twenty three of the trials were considered to be music therapy, and the remaining 29 were classified as music medicine interventions. One of the most important finding was that all kinds of music interventions resulted in a moderate to strong effect in reducing anxiety of patients. For music and pain reduction, they  found a large treatment benefit, and for fatigue they found a small to moderate treatment effect. They also found small reductions in heart and respiratory rates and a lower blood pressure associated with music interventions. Researchers continued “The results of single studies suggest that music listening may reduce the nee4d for anesthetics and analgesics, as well as decreased recovery time and duration of hospitalization, but more research is needed for these outcomes.” They concluded “We hope that the findings of this review will encourage health care providers in medical settings to seriously consider the use of music therapy in the psychosocial care of people with cancer.”

Can Mindfulness-based Meditation Help Teens with Cancer?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study presented at the American Psychosomatic Meeting in San Francisco this month concluded that mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer for teenagers. Researchers asked  13 teenagers with cancer to complete questionaires covering mood (positive and negative emotions, anxiety and depression), sleep and quality of life. The group was divided into two  and one group the research group was given eight mindfulness-based meditation sessions asnd the other group of five were put on a wait ;ist. The eight sessions were 90 minutes long and took place weekly. After the eight week session both groups filled out the same questionaire a second time . Researchers said “We analyzed differences in mood, sleep and quality of life scores for each participant and then between each group to evaluate if mindfulness sessions had a greater impact than the passage of time only. Findings showed that teens participating in the mindfulness sessions had lower scores on depression after 8 weeks and girls from this group reported sleeping better. Researchers also found that girls developed mindfulness skills better than boys. Researchers concluded that “Our results suggest that mindfulness sessions could be helpful in improving mood and sleep in teenagers with cancer, as previous oncology research suggests with adults.” However, results were not large enough to make definitive conclusions.

Breast Cancer Survival and Freedom From Recurrence Improved with Strong Social Ties

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


A recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that breast cancer patients with strong social ties during the first year following diagnosis have a greater probability of survival and freedom from recurrence than those without social support.

Between 2002 and 2004 over 2,200 breast cancer survivors completed a quality of life survey 6 months and 36 months(for most) after diagnosis. Questions about physical issues such as sleep, eating, and pain, psychological well being, social support and material well being were answered and answers were converted to an overall quality of life score. At a medium follow up of 4.8 years following the initial quality of life assessment patients who had died or been diagnosed with a recurrence were documented.

Six months following diagnosis the only significant association in the data related to dying or a recurrence of cancer was social well-being. Comparing women with the lowest social well-being quality of life score to those with the highest , the women with the highest scores had a 48% reduction in their risk of a cancer recurrence and a 38% reduction in their risk of death.

The strongest predictor of cancer recurrence was emotional support and women who reported the highest satisfaction with marriage and family had a 43 % risk reduction, those with strong social support had a 40% risk reduction, and those with a favorable interpersonal relationships had a 35% risk reduction of cancer recurrence. Although the social support network influenced cancer recurrence and survival during the first year after diagnosis, this association decreased thereafter and by the 3rd year was no longer statistically significant. The authors identified possible reasons for this decline. However, the researchers concluded “Our research supports previous studies that found a benefit for breast cancer patients who have a meaningful emotional support network.”