BACKGROUND: Music therapy has been proven to benefit cancer patients physically and emotionally. The Music Weekend for Women with Cancer was developed as a novel opportunity for participants to experience the healing powers of music amidst others who had a shared understanding of their illness.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fourteen female mixed cancer patients, three spouses, and one daughter attended the weekend from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Workshops and events centered on the use of music as a vehicle for expression of emotions, reflection, relaxation, communication, and enjoyment. Questionnaires were collected before the weekend to describe our population as well as three months after the weekend to assess any changes in their utilization of music and mood state.
RESULTS: Although insufficiency of post-weekend data limited the potential for assessing the effects of the weekend on the participants' utilization of music and mood state, the extremely positive evaluations supported the role music can play in helping patients and families explore their reactions to cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Events such as this answer the call in the literature for more opportunities to use music and the arts in cancer education. The authors hope this weekend will serve as a prototype for future events that aim to offer the benefits of music.