The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Music to manage anxiety during palliative care

     Researchers from the Calvary Health Care Bethlehem in Melbourne, Australia studied the effectiveness of a single music therapy session in reducing anxiety among terminally ill patients.

    First, the details.

    • 25 participants with end-stage terminal disease who were receiving inpatient hospice services participated.
    • They were randomly assigned to a single music therapy session or a volunteer visit.
    • Anxiety levels were measured using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).
    • Changes in heart rate were also monitored.

    And, the results.

    • There was significantly less anxiety in the music vs control group.
    • There was no difference in heart rate.
    • Significant reductions in pain, tiredness, and drowsiness were also recorded in the music group vs the group that received a visit.

    The bottom line?
    The results support the value of music therapy in terminally ill patients. The authors believe, “further studies are required to examine the effect of music therapy over a longer time period, as well as addressing other symptom issues.”

    Dr. Perry Fine — an anesthesiologist from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City — has reviewed CAM in managing pain at the end of life. Regarding music therapy, he concluded the following.

    • Reduces anxiety and improves mood
    • Low-cost
    • May reduces chronic pain
    • Improves quality of life by enhancing comfort and relaxation
    • Doesn’t interfere with technical aspects of care

    Researchers from the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Santa Clara, California reported that music therapy in palliative care is cost effect as well.

    A discussion of music therapists and therapy — who they are and what they do — is here.

    10/19/08 16:10 JR

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