SAN DIEGO--Anxiety and other symptoms of distress that occur
during radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions were found to be reduced when
patients were exposed to octaphonic sound, according to Sook Kim, RN, BSN, a
nurse clinician and charge nurse at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Ambulatory
Ms. Kim discussed the study at a poster presentation during the 26th Annual
Conference of the Oncology Nursing Society (abstract 134).
The Octaphonic Sound system is a new digital technology developed by Yamaha
Corporation of Japan. It involves the processing and delivery of music and
nature sounds through eight speakers, one in each corner of the room. The
result is an environment in which the sound has a realistic, three-dimensional
quality, Ms. Kim said.
The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center team worked with Yamaha to develop the music
content and nature sounds to be used in the study, which involved 27
chemotherapy patients and 27 patients being simulated for radiotherapy, Ms. Kim
The chemotherapy study consisted of two visits, in which patients were
randomized in a crossover design to receive the sound intervention on either
the first or second visit. The "no sound visit" served as the
control. Patients were instructed not to listen to any music during the control
visit, although they could do other distracting activities such as watch
television, read, visit, or play card or board games.
The radiotherapy trial consisted of a single visit. Patients were randomized
in a parallel design to receive the sound intervention or to be simulated in
the standard way in which they did not engage in any distracting activities
during the procedure.
"The patients who received the sound intervention had a choice of
classical music, music and nature, calm sea sounds, and nature sounds,"
Ms. Kim said. "Classical music was the most popular."