The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Music to manage anxiety during palliative care

     Researchers from the Calvary Health Care Bethlehem in Melbourne, Australia studied the effectiveness of a single music therapy session in reducing anxiety among terminally ill patients.

    First, the details.

    • 25 participants with end-stage terminal disease who were receiving inpatient hospice services participated.
    • They were randomly assigned to a single music therapy session or a volunteer visit.
    • Anxiety levels were measured using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).
    • Changes in heart rate were also monitored.

    And, the results.

    • There was significantly less anxiety in the music vs control group.
    • There was no difference in heart rate.
    • Significant reductions in pain, tiredness, and drowsiness were also recorded in the music group vs the group that received a visit.

    The bottom line?
    The results support the value of music therapy in terminally ill patients. The authors believe, “further studies are required to examine the effect of music therapy over a longer time period, as well as addressing other symptom issues.”

    Dr. Perry Fine — an anesthesiologist from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City — has reviewed CAM in managing pain at the end of life. Regarding music therapy, he concluded the following.

    • Reduces anxiety and improves mood
    • Low-cost
    • May reduces chronic pain
    • Improves quality of life by enhancing comfort and relaxation
    • Doesn’t interfere with technical aspects of care

    Researchers from the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Santa Clara, California reported that music therapy in palliative care is cost effect as well.

    A discussion of music therapists and therapy — who they are and what they do — is here.

    10/19/08 16:10 JR

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