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Combination of music intervention and hypnosis to improve well-being

Associate members:

There are challenges related to the quality of end-of-life care of patients that wish to die in the comfort of their home. Different interventions have been developed to improve comfort care, but continuous improvement is still required to best accompany the palliative population, manage anxiety and improve well-being.


Music and hypnosis present fewer risks of side effects and can be self-administered at any time. Research studies have shown that they can have a positive effect on pain, anxiety and well-being in different populations. Thus, several QPRN members and their research teams have come together to implement and refine a combined hypnosis and music intervention program using patient-centered care approaches to improve the well-being of patients in end-of-life palliative care.


A meta-analysis was conducted, where researchers searched the literature and identified studies on the effect of specific musical components and references to hypnosis and combined the results of these studies. This allowed them to design and improve an intervention program using both music and hypnosis according to the principles of person-centered care. The first version of the program was then revised by a group of experts from different disciplines. Their evaluation ensured whether the program would feasible, accepted by patients and the content of the experience.

Main findings

Managing pain and anxiety and increasing the wellbeing of people in palliative care justifies the presence of an intervention program that does not use medication. Almost all experts believed that the program would produce positive effects, the patients will be interested in pursuing it and that it will be well-integrated in their daily lives. Some evaluators identified barriers to the use of this program. First, overworked staff that may not have time to change the routine with their patients. Second, the patients would need to be committed to this program and their interest would be a key factor making it effective. Finally, there might be financial issues. However, the simplicity of this program that is appropriately conceived and coherent could facilitate its implementation.

Take home message

Experts attained a high level of consensus about the benefits of a mixed intervention program combining hypnosis and music to improve well-being of patients in palliative care. Further studies are required to test this intervention in the targeted population. The intervention is currently tested in patients receiving end-of-life palliative care at home and preliminary findings suggest excellent acceptability and meaningful clinical benefits.

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