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Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy and Cancer Treatment

Research Article and the Focus of the Analysis

When undergoing cancer treatment, in general, and radiotherapy, in particular, one is likely to be under the pressure of severe stress. The resulting tension and emotional strain are likely to serve to the detriment of one’s health, leading to the development of a mental issue such as neurosis or even depression (Ho, Rohan, Parent, Tager, & McKinley, 2015). Music therapy is currently viewed as one of the tools for managing the stress that women undergoing cancer treatment are experiencing. In her article, Teresa Lesiuk (2015) explores the impact that music therapy has on the efficacy of coping with the side effects of cancer treatment.

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The goal of the paper is to evaluate the overall composition of the article, the strength of the argument, the efficacy of research, and the veracity of its outcomes. Furthermore, the paper aims at identifying further choices that can be made in the study of music therapy outcomes. For instance, a comprehensive strategy for addressing the threat of cognitive functioning deficit with the help of music therapy can be created based on the outcomes of the analysis.

Research Question: Exploring the Effects of Music Therapy

The research question focuses on the outcomes of music therapy on the cognitive functioning of women that have been undergoing the breast cancer chemotherapy. Since the identified approach toward managing cancer is typically characterized by a highly negative effect on patients’ ability to use their cognitive functions, such as memory-related functions, the ability to think logically, etc., the effects of music therapy as a promising strategy need to be explored.

It could be argued that the research question could have been set in a slightly more specific manner. For example, the outcomes of specific music on a particular cognitive function, such as short- and long-term memory skills, could have been studied in detail. However, as it is, the study offers a plethora of interesting information, especially regarding the opportunities for treatment improvement.

Research Design of the Study and Reasons for Its Choice

Since the correlation between two factors had to be measured precisely, the use of a quantitative research design is fully justified. The statistical comparison of the available data allows identifying the difference in the data between the groups, thus, shedding light on the efficacy of music therapy on the well-being of breast cancer patients. The specified approach allows studying the correlation between the number of positive outcomes and the use of music-based therapy precisely. However, the use of the statistical test in question also has its problems since the design does not allow representing the target population fully. As a result, there is a considerable degree of approximation in the outcomes (Creswell & Creswell, 2017).

Sample Population of the Study: Assessment

Lesiuk (2015) used a sample of 15 participants to extrapolate the outcomes of music therapy on the levels of depression and stress among cancer patients. One could argue that the specified sample is far too small to represent the target demographic properly. Indeed, ti is desirable to use a significantly larger number of participants to embrace a vast range of potential patients. Thus, the framework for meeting the needs of a rather diverse audience could have been created. However, the sample that Lesiuk (2015) chose can also be viewed as a rather faithful representation of the target population since it provides generalizable results and can be applied to any average patient with breast cancer. Therefore, the sampling strategy used by Lesiuk (2015) can be regarded as appropriate, even though it could use improvements by introducing a larger number of participant groups.

Data Collection Methods: Gathering Crucial Information

Over the course of a week, patients received Mindfulness-Based Music Test (MBTM). The outcomes of the sessions were documented accordingly, with the further analysis of the produced data. The information was collected by the researchers during the sessions mentioned above. The resulting information was processed for the further identification of a general trend.

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The way in which the information was collected can be viewed as rather efficient in terms of time and data management. Seeing that the crucial facts were recorded immediately after they were produced, the possibility of a mistake or a misinterpretation due to the time that may have passed was avoided successfully.

Study Limitations: What Was Standing in the Way

Although the research can be described as well put together and quite coherent, with its methodology being very sensible and its results providing a foundation for further improvements, there are certain limitations to the study. As stressed above, the research design chosen by Lesiuk (2015) does not offer enough opportunities for representing the target population fully. Although the study outcomes offer rather general information, the analysis was carried out in the setting that involved only 15 members. Therefore, the study is limited in its representation of its target population. Thus, the results of the analysis will require further adjustments to be used in the setting of a particular healthcare institution. Seeing that all patients participated in the study voluntarily and anonymously, the ethical issues were managed successfully.

Reported Findings and Their Implications for Healthcare

According to the outcomes of the analysis, a massive improvement in the efficacy of patients’ memory have been witnessed after the introduction of an MBTM-based technique (Lesiuk, 2015). Therefore, the identified framework can be considered a valid strategy to be used to manage the cognitive issues faced by women undergoing breast cancer treatment. The outcomes of MBTM sessions have shown a significant decrease in the levels of stress and even a steep drop in the levels of depression shown by participants of the study (Lesiuk, 2015). Moreover, the outcomes of the analysis suggest that a comprehensive approach toward addressing the emotional and psychological needs of women undergoing cancer treatment can be designed. Using the music therapy suggested by Lesiuk (2015), one will be able to address the needs of a diverse population successfully.

Summary: Essential information and Its Significance

Women experiencing chemotherapy as a part of their cancer treatment process are extremely prone to depressions, mood disorders, and the development of severe stress. Therefore, tools for reducing the effects of the treatment must be incorporated into the strategy for managing the needs of the target demographic. The MBTM technique is bound to have a profusely positive effect on the well-being of women experiencing cancer treatment. The identified approach will require certain adjustments before being implemented to meet the needs of a specific population. Particularly, culture-specific demands of patients will need to be taken into account. Therefore, the probability of its implementation is rather high. Creating the environment in which cancer patients will feel positive about the treatment process is essential to their further recovery.


Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Ho, S. Y., Rohan, K. J., Parent, J., Tager, F. A., & McKinley, P. S. (2015). A longitudinal study of depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances as a symptom cluster in women with breast cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 49(4), 707-715. Web.

Lesiuk, T. (2015). The effect of Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy on attention and mood in women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer: A pilot study. Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(3), 276-282. Web.

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