• The use of songwriting with patients in cancer care : case studies

      Lin, Saiping (2019-05)
      Cancer is a life-threatening illness that has the potential to impact a patient’s life in a myriad of ways. The positive effects of music therapy have been acknowledged by its role and impact during the treatment within comprehensive cancer centers in the United States (Richardson, Babiak-Vazquez, & Frenkel, 2017). Existing studies support the efficacy of music therapy treatment in cancer care, focusing primarily on the following goals: to reduce stress, anxiety, and perception of pain (Magill, 2001). According to the Cochrane review, music interventions that conducted by a well-trained music therapist might have benefits for cancer patients on helping them with anxiety, pain, fatigue and other needs (Bradt, Dileo, Magill & Teague, 2016). Further research indicates that an additional focus on the patient’s spiritual journey and expression of his or her process is significant, and vital to the overall therapeutic process (Castelli, Castelnuovo, & Torta, 2015). The clinical application of songwriting has been shown to not only support a patient’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing, but also encourage an increased sense of self, self-esteem and decision-making (Baker & Wigram, 2005). The present study examines the implementation of songwriting with two patients with cancer in an outpatient medical facility. The analysis details each patient’s experience of songwriting while also taking into account the patients’ personalities, education levels, cultural backgrounds, and familial histories. Furthermore, an exploration of the author’s perspective and clinical experience as it pertains to this population is included.