Music as a Method of Coping With Cancer: A Qualitative Study Among Cancer Patients in Sweden


Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice




Background: This study investigated patients’ understanding of the role of music in coping and in influencing their well-being. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted based on semi-structured interviews with 17 cancer patients. Participants were chosen from a group of patients who had listened to or played music as a means of coping with their illness. Results: The study shows the importance of considering the roles that different kinds of music play in coping with cancer. The music of nature, healing music, religious music and cheerful music each have different benefits for patients. Conclusions: A patient’s situation and his or her individual characteristics determine the types of music that can act as a useful or harmful coping strategy. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the types of individual characteristics that can make listening to different kinds of music a helpful or harmful coping method. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Cancer; Coping; Interviews; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Psychological Outcomes; Recorded Music Listening; Recreative Music Methods; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

coping behavior; cancer; well being; individual characteristics; Neoplasms; Individual Differences

Study Type

Phenomenological Study; Qualitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type