Outcomes and experiences of an online Balance-Space music therapy intervention for cancer patients: A mixed methods study

Tal Chen Rabinowitch, Ayelet Dassa, Aya Shwed Sadot, Avigal Trincher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coping with cancer requires both physical and emotional fortitude, and various intervention programs attempt to address these needs. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many interventions have transitioned from live to online settings. Balance-Space is a music therapy intervention, which includes listening to original composed music, followed by an open discussion. Participants with a cancer diagnosis were randomized to either an online group music listening intervention or an online group meditation intervention. Both activities were followed by a group discussion led by two music therapists. A mixed methods study was employed and included both quantitative measurements of distress, anxiety, and pain and a qualitative analysis of the group discussion in the music intervention group. We found a significant reduction in participants’ perceived pain levels following the music intervention when compared to the meditation intervention. This result was supported by qualitative content analysis, which revealed how music evoked physical reactions and affected the participants' experience of pain. There were no significant differences in participants’ perceived distress levels and perceived anxiety levels between the two groups. These preliminary results are encouraging and support the need for further exploration of online music therapy interventions as a non-pharmacological treatment for cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101998
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anxiety
  • Balance-Space
  • Cancer
  • Distress
  • Online music therapy
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


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