ORLANDO, FL—Music, nature sounds, and the combination of both were effective in decreasing pain and anxiety in patients with cancer on hospice, a study presented at the ONS 40th Annual Congress has shown.

Because unresolved cancer pain can burden patients, familial caregivers, and health care professionals, and results in increased health care system costs, a team of nurses and researchers from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and HungKuang University in Taichung, Taiwan, sought to assess the effectiveness of music and nature sounds on cancer pain in hospice cancer patients in Taiwan.

The team enrolled 123 patients into the study. Participants either listened to preselected sedative music, nature sounds, or the combination once a day for 3 days, or music of their choice.

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Results showed that the participants who listened to the preselected music or nature sounds had significantly less pain and anxiety than the participants who chose their own music.

The findings suggest that “nurses can use music, nature sounds, or the combination of both for pain and anxiety in hospice patients along with analgesics,” Ling-Chun Chiang, PhD, RN, said at the meeting.

“Nurses can consider portable, light weight, and easy-to-use equipment,” such as an MP3 player, when choosing a device to play music or nature sounds so that “it increases the mobility of the hospice patients when they want to move around,” Chiang concluded.