Children’s Cancer Association Clinical Trial Explores Efficacy of Music Medicine on Kids in Hospital

Collaborative study looks to decrease pain and anxiety in children with live music post-surgery

Portland, Oregon, UNITED STATES

Portland, Ore., Feb. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a first of its kind collaboration, the Portland, OR-based Children’s Cancer Association (CCA), Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel (RCH) and Legacy Research Institute (LRI) co-led a study to assess the impact of using live music medicine on post-surgery pediatric patients to reduce pain and anxiety. The study was led by R. Serene Perkins, M.D. and Shaban Demirel, PhD in partnership with CCA professional staff and focused on CCA’s flagship program, MyMusicRx®. The subsequent article was published in Frontiers in Oncology earlier this month.

As part of the study, thirty-two pediatric patients aged between 5 and 18 years were considered to receive one live, customized music session by a MyMusicRx music specialist within 12 hours after surgery. Two groups were tested, one being a control group, which did not receive the MyMusicRx intervention. At the time of the study, live music intervention had not been examined in the pediatric postoperative setting; nor had the concept of using scientific methods to investigate transformative moments of joy in pediatric patients and their families.

“Most of the published work on the effects of music in patients involves adults,” said R. Serene Perkins, MD, Director of Surgical and Clinical Research, Legacy Research Institute. “Assessing and managing pain and anxiety in children is more difficult, which is what led us to explore the impact of music medicine in a pilot group of hospitalized children. We believe there is a critical gap in pediatric oncology research: understanding the role of integrative therapies to combat the adverse effects of stress on pediatric patients.”

For more than two decades, CCA has leveraged bedside and digital music programs to create transformative moments of joy for children and families facing cancer and other serious illnesses. CCA’s MyMusicRx program has served more than180,000 children along with their families, caregivers, and medical professionals in hospitals across the country. Its digital programs are available daily to 7,500 children in 25 pediatric hospitals and growing.

“CCA is the only organization working to position music and joy as best practice in pediatric healthcare settings across the country and ultimately, around the world,” said Regina Ellis, Founder and Chief Joy Officer, Children’s Cancer Association. “For over 22 years CCA’s MyMusicRx program has delivered the healing power of music to hospitalized kids of all ages and diagnoses. Today, we’re committed to leading new, scientific studies that will quantify when, where, and how our tailored music interventions can provide maximum impact and improve quality of life for seriously ill kids and teens as part of a multidisciplinary approach to their treatment.”

Randall Children’s Hospital was CCA’s first hospital partner and is the organization’s primary research and development hub for its programs and services. This long-time partnership and shared focus on excellence in integrative treatment solutions allowed for the creation and implementation of the collaborative study.

The study’s findings showed a single music intervention for pediatric postoperative patients did not appear to be an adequate supplement to decrease pain over traditional methods of pain control. However, throughout the duration of the study, the psychological well-being, patient engagement, and family perception of the music medicine was not evaluated, allowing for promising future study of pediatric stress management using cognitive methods, such as MyMusicRx.

A second phase of the clinical trial is planned for April 2018. It will focus on the behavioral impact MyMusicRx has on children and will incorporate a “Joy Scale” to explore the impact of music medicine on their moods and emotions.

The concept of a Joy Scale is part of a larger methodology CCA is testing through a redesign of its digital MyMusicRx program, which is offered free-of-charge at The digital service empowers hospitalized kids to shift, plan, and grow through music. A mood shift tool allows kids to select songs, games, and music lessons based on how they want to feel. Personalized videos, music, and activity recommendations help kids reach their desired mood faster. The new site will launch in May 2018.

About Children’s Cancer Association (CCA)

The Children’s Cancer Association knows that for seriously ill children and their families every moment is precious. That’s why our programs leverage music, friendship, nature, and resources to create transformative moments of joy for 28,000 children, teens, and their family members each year. We believe kids deserve long, wonderful lives. Or at the very least, short wonderful lives. Unlike many organizations dedicated to the worthy goal of someday finding a cure for cancer, CCA is all about creating joy today. See our programs in action here, or visit us anytime at

About MyMusicRx

MyMusicRx is the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association who believes #JoyMatters and #MusicHeals. Two decades ago we began delivering the healing power of music to children and teens facing cancer and other serious illnesses. Today, our bedside and digital “music medicine” programs engage hospitalized children of all ages and diagnoses, relieving stress, anxiety, and perception of pain. Since 1995, MyMusicRx has served more than 180,000 children along with their families, caregivers, and medical professionals. MyMusicRx digital programs are available daily to 7,500 children in 25 pediatric hospitals across the country and growing. See MyMusicRx in action here, or visit us anytime at

About Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

Randall Children’s Hospital is one of Oregon’s largest providers of pediatric inpatient and trauma services and is part of Legacy Health’s seven-hospital system. Randall Children's Hospital opened its new nine-story, 165-bed home in Portland in February 2012. With a medical staff of more than 600 physicians, including pediatric medical and surgical specialists, sub-specialists, hospitalists and community pediatricians the hospital receives over 100,000 patient visits per year.

About Legacy Health

Legacy Health is Oregon’s only locally-owned nonprofit health-care organization with nearly 13,000 employees serving you where you work, live and play. A comprehensive network of care providers from more than 100 Legacy Medical Group primary care, specialty and urgent care clinics to community-based and nationally recognized hospitals including Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and Legacy Silverton Medical Center. Legacy provides a vigorous research program at Legacy Research Institute and extensive medical testing at Legacy Laboratory Services. Visit for more information.



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Jayden plays the egg shakers with MyMusicRx specialist

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