FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Listening to music or having sessions with trained music therapists can help ease cancer patients' anxiety, researchers say.
Music may also have positive effects on their mood, pain and quality of life, according to Joke Bradt of the department of creative arts therapies at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Bradt and colleagues examined evidence from 1,891 cancer patients who took part in 13 trials that used music therapists and 17 trials that used pre-recorded music.
Compared to standard treatments, music was associated with a considerable reduction in anxiety, along with benefits in mood, pain, heart and respiratory rates, and blood pressure, according to a systematic review by the Cochrane Collaboration, which evaluates primary research and evidence-based medicine.
"The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to people with cancer," Bradt said in a news release.
"Music interventions provided by trained music therapists as well as listening to pre-recorded music both have shown positive outcomes in this review, but at this time there is not enough evidence to determine if one intervention is more effective than the other," she added.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about anxiety and stress among cancer patients and their families.