Group Piano Training Enhances Cognition and Psychosocial Function in Adults Undergoing Cancer Treatment
School/Affiliation:University of South Florida
Co-Authors:Wenxin Song, Joellyn Jung
Virtual or In-person:In-person
Music training interventions administered in a group format are efficacious at improving quality of life in adults; however, few studies examine the effects of active music training programs on quality of life and cognition in patients undergoing cancer treatment. Based upon Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (1977), we hypothesized that group piano training would be more beneficial than individual piano training to mood and quality of life which contribute to cognition. Participants were randomly assigned to a 9-week group or individual piano program. Measures of memory, cognitive speed, inhibitory control, and psychosocial well-being were administered pre- and post-training. Participants completed a follow-up interview to examine program perceptions. Results of a paired-samples t-test showed a significant difference in QLS scores (p=.02) with enhanced performance for those enrolled in group piano training. We also observed reduced depressive symptoms as reported on the BDI. Participants in group piano training demonstrated enhanced response inhibition on the Flanker task suggesting enhanced higher inhibition/attention. Interview data revealed that participants perceived improvements in physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The results suggest that piano training, especially in a group setting, may be therapeutic for patients undergoing treatment for cancer.