Music therapy, how does it change the way of perceiving colours for patients with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy?

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Ahmed Jribi , Fatma Dhouib , Imene Baati , Nejla Fourati , Omar Nouri , Salma Hentati , Jawaher Masmoudi , Wafa Mnejja , Jamel Daoud


The choice of colours according to their positive or negative connotation could be an indirect way of reflecting individual's psychology. This concept has never been explored in oncology. The aim of this study is to investigate the evolution of colour choices reflecting the psychology of breast cancer patients receiving music therapy (MT) during their radiotherapy (RT).This is a prospective study which enrolled two groups of breast cancer patients undergoing RT: first group attending weekly MT sessions during their RT courses (MT arm) and second group who didn’t attend to MT sessions (control arm). Patients were asked to choose the colour reflecting their psychology at different assessments: before RT (T0), during RT (T1), at the end of RT (T2) and 2 months after RT (T3). Sixty patients were included and equally divided between both arms. In the MT arm, the evolutionary profile of colours with positive connotation showed a significant increase between T0-T1, T0-T2 and T0-T3 (p=0.014, p=0.021 and p=0.021 respectively). However, in the control arm, it showed a significant decrease between T1-T2 and T0-T2 (p=0.008 and p=0.039 respectively) and a significant increase between T2-T3 (p=0.003).Their comparison showed a significant improvement at T2 in favour of MT arm (p=0.001). Thus, MT seems to boost positive psychology in breast cancer patients undergoing RT by ameliorating their perception of colours. Consequently, it would be interesting to integrate it into cancer treatment and to involve psychologists during the patients’ assessment to better understand their colours choices.

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