Virtual reality and music therapy as distraction interventions to alleviate anxiety and improve mood states in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy

Andrea Chirico, Patrizia Maiorano, Paola Indovina, Carla Milanese, Giovan Giacomo Giordano, Fabio Alivernini, Giovanni Iodice, Luigi Gallo, Giuseppe De Pietro, Fabio Lucidi, Gerardo Botti, Michelino De Laurentiis, Antonio Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Psychological distress is a common consequence of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and could further exacerbate therapy side effects. Interventions increasing treatment tolerance are crucial to improve both patients' quality of life and adherence to therapies. Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as an effective distraction tool for different medical procedures. Here, we assessed the efficacy of immersive and interactive VR in alleviating chemotherapy-related psychological distress in a cohort of Italian breast cancer patients, also comparing its effects with those of music therapy (MT). Thirty patients were included in the VR group, 30 in the MT group, and 34 in the control group, consisting of patients receiving standard care during chemotherapy. Our data suggest that both VR and MT are useful interventions for alleviating anxiety and for improving mood states in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy. Moreover, VR seems more effective than MT in relieving anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5353-5362
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Volume235
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • breast cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • cybersickness
  • mood states
  • music therapy
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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