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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 742941, 9 pages
Research Article

Music Therapy for Patients Who Have Undergone Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant

1Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77008, USA
2Department of General Oncology and the Integrative Medicine Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1400 Holcombe, Unit 462, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3College of Nursing, The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Room 5071, 985330 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5330, USA
4Department of Medicine-Hematology and Oncology, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Received 13 November 2013; Accepted 24 December 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editor: David Mischoulon

Copyright © 2014 Chelsea G. Ratcliff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. This study examines the short- and long-term QOL benefits of a music therapy intervention for patients recovering from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods. Ninety allogeneic HSCT patients, after transplant, were randomized to receive ISO-principle (i.e., mood matching) based music therapy (MT; ), unstructured music (UM; ), or usual care (UC; ) for four weeks. The ISO principle posits that patients may shift their mood from one state to another by listening to music that is “equal to” the individual’s initial mood state and subsequently listening to music selections that gradually shift in tempo and mood to match the patient’s desired disposition. Participants in MT and UM groups developed two audio CDs to help them feel more relaxed and energized and were instructed to use the CDs to improve their mood as needed. Short-term effects on mood and long-term effects on QOL were examined. Results. MT and UM participants reported improved mood immediately after listening to CDs; the within-group effect was greater for UM participants compared to MT participants. Participant group was not associated with long-term QOL outcomes. Conclusions. Music listening improves mood acutely but was not associated with long-term benefits in this study.