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The Garry Dial Fund Music Therapy Project in Radiation Oncology
The Garry Dial Music Therapy Fund, at Mount Sinai West hosts a full-time music therapy program which implements cutting edge music therapy for patients undergoing radiation therapy (RT) treatment from the first imaging sessions through final radiation treatment sessions weeks later. This unique music therapy program is the first of its kind and has been piloted at two other cancer care facilities in Mount Sinai Health System. View Video
Patients with all types of cancer referred by the medical team for a music therapy assessment are prescribed music during radiation, reducing their potential stress. Music therapy addresses the psychological well being of patients with cancer by directly influencing the perception of RT as being less intrusive leading to a sense of ease throughout the entire treatment trajectory. The resulting improved patient treatment compliance indicates that patients experience lower anxiety and distress during the initial simulation for radiation therapy imaging when music psychotherapy beforehand.
This program also provides continued therapy sessions that use both live music and pre-recorded music for the duration of treatment addressing potential secondary issues associated with cancer treatment such as anxiety and fear, pain, emotional difficulties (including trauma, depression, acute stress disorder, and PTSD) as well as psychosocial and spiritual concerns.
Music psychotherapy is also available to patients' family members who accompany them to their treatment sessions. This can create a unique 'nucleus of care' that provides relief and support to both patients and their personal caregivers, and can enhance feelings of resiliency, reinforce coping mechanisms and a proactive stance toward the challenges of cancer treatment.
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