Evaluation of the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the quality of life of palliative care patients: a randomised controlled pilot and feasibility study.

McConnell, T., Graham-Wisener, L., Regan, J., McKeown, M., Kirkwood, J., Hughes, N., Clarke, M., Leitch, J., McGrillen, K. and Porter, S., 2016. Evaluation of the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the quality of life of palliative care patients: a randomised controlled pilot and feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 2, p. 70.

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DOI: 10.1186/s40814-016-0111-x

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Music therapy is frequently used as a palliative therapy. In consonance with the goals of palliative care, the primary aim of music therapy is to improve people's quality of life by addressing their psychological needs and facilitating communication. To date, primarily because of a paucity of robust research, the evidence for music therapy's effectiveness on patient reported outcomes is positive but weak. This pilot and feasibility study will test procedures, outcomes and validated tools; estimate recruitment and attrition rates; and calculate the sample size required for a phase III randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the quality of life of palliative care patients. METHODS: A pilot randomised controlled trial supplemented with qualitative methods. The quantitative data collection will involve recruitment of >52 patients from an inpatient Marie Curie hospice setting over a 12-month period. Eligibility criteria include all patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 03- indicating they are medically fit to engage with music therapy and an Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT) score of ≥7 indicating they are capable of providing meaningful informed consent and accurate responses to outcome measures. Baseline data collection will include the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQOL); medical and socio-demographic data will be undertaken before randomisation to an intervention or control group. Participants in the intervention arm will be offered two 30-45 min sessions of music therapy per week for three consecutive weeks, in addition to care as usual. Participants in the control arm will receive care as usual. Follow-up measures will be administered in 1, 3 and 5 weeks. Qualitative data collection will involve focus group and individual interviews with HCPs and carers. DISCUSSION: This study will ensure a firm methodological grounding for the development of a robust phase III randomised trial of music therapy for improving quality of life in palliative care patients. By undertaking the pilot and feasibility trial under normal clinical conditions in a hospice setting, the trial will result in reliable procedures to overcome some of the difficulties in designing music therapy RCTs for palliative care settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02791048.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:2055-5784
Uncontrolled Keywords:End-of-life care; Feasibility study; Hospice; Music therapy; Palliative care; Pilot study
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:25610
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:21 Dec 2016 13:46
Last Modified:21 Dec 2016 13:46

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