Background Maintaining quality of life is a primary goal of palliative care (PC). Complementary interventions can help meet the needs of patients at the end of life.
Objectives This meta-analysis aims to (1) evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and fidelity of music and hypnosis interventions designed for patients in PC and (2) evaluate the impact of these interventions on pain, anxiety, sleep and well-being.
Methods Relevant studies were sourced from major databases. We selected both randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and studies relying on pre–post design with details of the intervention(s).
Results Four RCT and seven non-randomised pre–post studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the feasibility and acceptability of the interventions reached an adequate level of satisfaction. However, only three studies reported using a written protocol. The meta-analysis of RCT indicated a significant decrease in pain with an effect size of −0.42, p=0.003. The small number of RCT studies did not allow us to quantify the effects for other variables. Analyses of data from pre–post designs indicated a favourable outcome for pain, anxiety, sleep and well-being.
Conclusion Despite the limited number of studies included in our meta-analysis, hypnosis and music intervention in the context of PC shows promising results in terms of feasibility and acceptability, as well as improvements on pain, anxiety, sleep and well-being. The available studies are insufficient to compare the efficacy across interventions and assess the potential benefits of their combinations. These results underscore the importance of further research on well-described complementary interventions relying on hypnosis and music.
PROSPERO registration number CRD-42021236610.
- complementary therapy
- psychological care
- quality of life
- supportive care
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors JB planned the systematic review, conducted the literature search, selected the articles according to the established criteria, performed the descriptive analysis, the bias and the statistical analyses, drafted and revised the paper. She is the guarantor. ED participated in the literature search, selected the articles, performed the bias analyses, and revised the paper. ML and A-MP participated in the design of the article and revised the draft paper. PR and DO planned the research design, participated to the statistical data analysis, participated to the inter-rater agreement, and drafted and critically revised the paper. They are in equal parts, senior supervisors of JB.
Funding This work was supported by Mitacs no. IT25481 in partnership with Recherche-Interventions Cétosia and through the funds of the lecturers of Laval University.
Competing interests This article was completed as part of a Mitacs funded postdoctoral fellowship. To be eligible for this grant, the candidate had to be both an intern and part of the company. Conflict of interest controls are in place at the business incubator that supervises JB.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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