Guided Imagery and Music during active treatment for gynecologic cancer: Results of a feasibility study


  • Evangelia Papanikolaou 1)Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Musikkens Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark. 2)Sonora Organisation for Music Therapy & Research, Herodou Attikou 16, 15124, Greece
  • Cathy McKinney Appalachian State University, Hayes School of Music, Boone, NC 28608, USA and Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Niels Hannibal Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Musikkens Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark.



This mixed-methods study investigated the feasibility of a series of short Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) sessions for 4 women with gynecologic cancer undergoing active treatment, in a Greek hospital setting. Pre/post session measurements of HADS, FACT-G, semi-structured interviews following therapy, and therapists’ notes. The women reported pre-post gains for hope and fatigue via 10-point Likert scales, but no consistent changes to self-reported anxiety and depression. In follow-up interviews, all women reported that the music helped them cope with the disease and allowed them to deal with interpersonal and spiritual issues. GIM can be feasible for this population, provided that flexibility on scheduling and location are considered. 

Keywords: guided imagery and music, gynecologic oncology, quality of life, hope, fatigue


Author Biographies

Evangelia Papanikolaou, 1)Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Musikkens Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark. 2)Sonora Organisation for Music Therapy & Research, Herodou Attikou 16, 15124, Greece

PhD student at Aalborg University, Denmark, Music therapist-GIM therapist and trainer, scientific director of SONORA-Organization for Music Therapy & Research, and adjunct professor at Hellenic American University (Greece)

Cathy McKinney, Appalachian State University, Hayes School of Music, Boone, NC 28608, USA and Aalborg University, Denmark

PhD, MT-BC is director of music therapy and the GIM training program at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and adjunct professor in the PhD degree program in music therapy at Aalborg University, Denmark. 

Niels Hannibal, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Musikkens Plads 1, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark.

PhD, Candidate MT, Associate Professor at the music therapy education at Aalborg University, Institute for Communication and Psychology, Denmark.



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