Pediatric brain tumor survivors’ lived experience of engaging in a musical training program which promoted their psychological well-being: a qualitative study

Ankie Tan Cheung, William Ho Cheung Li, Laurie Long Kwan Ho, Wei Xia, Godfrey Chi Fung Chan, Joyce Oi Kwan Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: Musical training has been found to promote psychological well-being and quality of life among pediatric brain tumor survivors. Yet, the essential elements of musical training that influence its efficacy remain unknown. This study aimed to examine the lived experience of engaging in the musical training program from the perspectives of pediatric brain tumor survivors, their parents, and interveners. Methods: We employed a descriptive phenomenological approach. Twenty pediatric brain tumor survivors (aged 8–15 years) who had undergone musical training in a previous trial were selected, along with their parents (13 mothers and 7 fathers) and 7 interveners, to participate in individual semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was conducted according to Colaizzi’s descriptive phenomenology method. Results: Five main themes emerged from the interviews: overcoming difficulties encountered during the initial phase of the musical training program, improved psychological and emotional well-being, facilitation of participation in musical training program, appreciation of the benefits of joining the musical training program, and expectation of future musical training program. The musical training program improved the psychological and emotional well-being of pediatric brain tumor survivors by promoting positive mood, facilitating emotional management and expression, and enhancing self-confidence. In addition, learning in a supportive environment is crucial in facilitating survivors to overcome adversity during their learning process. Conclusion: This study addressed a literature gap by exploring how a musical training program promoted psychological well-being among pediatric brain tumor survivors. The study findings inform the importance of tailoring musical training program based on survivors’ learning abilities and needs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Cancer
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Pediatric brain tumor survivors
  • Qualitative study
  • Quality of life
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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