MUSIC THERAPY AND PAIN RELIEF

Res Nurs Health. 2005 Jun;28(3):240-51.

Relaxation and music reduce pain following intestinal surgery.

Good M, Anderson GC, Ahn S, Cong X, Stanton-Hicks M.
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA


Three nonpharmacological nursing interventions, relaxation, chosen music, and their combination, were tested for pain relief following intestinal (INT) surgery in a randomized clinical trial. The 167 patients were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups or control and were tested during ambulation and rest on postoperative days 1 and 2. Pain sensation and distress were measured with visual analog scales (VAS). Multivariate analysis of covariance showed significantly less post-test pain in the intervention groups than in the control group on both days after rest and at three of six ambulation post-tests (p = .024-.001), resulting in 16-40% less pain. Mixed effects after ambulation were due to the large variation in pain and difficulty relaxing while returning to bed; but post hoc explorations showed effects for those with high and low pain. These interventions are recommended along with analgesics for greater postoperative relief without additional side effects. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.



Pain Manag Nurs. 2003 Jun;4(2):54-61

Music reduces sensation and distress of labor pain.

Phumdoung S, Good M.
Obstetric Gynecological Nursing and Midwifery Department, Prince of Songkla University, Faculty of Nursing, Hatyai, Songhkla 90112, Thailand


Labor pain is often severe, and analgesic medication may not be indicated. In this randomized controlled trial we examined the effects of music on sensation and distress of pain in Thai primiparous women during the active phase of labor. The gate control theory of pain was the theoretical framework for this study. Randomization with a computerized minimization program was used to assign women to a music group (n = 55) or a control group (n = 55). Women in the intervention group listened to soft music without lyrics for 3 hours starting early in the active phase of labor. Dual visual analog scales were used to measure sensation and distress of pain before starting the study and at three hourly posttests. While controlling for pretest scores, one-way repeated measures analysis of covariance indicated that those in the music group had significantly less sensation and distress of pain than did the control group (F (1, 107) = 18.69, p <.001, effect size =.15, and F (1, 107) = 14.87, p <.001, effect size =.12), respectively. Sensation and distress significantly increased across the 3 hours in both groups (p <.001), except for distress in the music group during the first hour. Distress was significantly lower than sensation in both groups (p <.05). In this controlled study, music--a mild to moderate strength intervention--consistently provided significant relief of severe pain across 3 hours of labor and delayed the increase of affective pain for 1 hour. Nurses can provide soft music to laboring women for greater pain relief during the active phase when contractions are strong and women suffer.



Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2001 Nov-Dec;18(6):383-90

The effects of single-session music therapy interventions on the observed and self-reported levels of pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation of hospice patients.

Krout RE.
Hospice of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA


This article describes the process and results of a three-month music therapy clinical effectiveness study conducted with terminally ill patients. The purpose of this study was to quantify and evaluate the effectiveness of single-session music therapy interventions with hospice patients in three patient problem areas: pain control; physical comfort; and relaxation. Data from a total of 90 sessions conducted with a total of 80 subjects served by Hospice of Palm Beach County, Florida, were included in the study. Music therapy services were provided by five board-certified music therapists and one music therapist eligible for board certification. The subjects in this study were receiving regularly scheduled music therapy services from the hospice organization. The study used both behavioral observation and subject's self-reporting as methods of data reporting and recording. Subjects were observed for, or self-reported, their levels of pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation, both before and after each music therapy session. The subjects were served in the environments where music therapy services would normally be delivered (i.e., home, hospital, nursing home, or inpatient acute-care unit of the hospice organization). Music therapy services included live active and passive music-based experiences. These were designed to build and to establish rapport with patient or family, to facilitate family interaction and patient control, to provide support and comfort, to facilitate relaxation, to enable reminiscence and life review, to provide a frame-work for spiritual exploration and validation, and to encourage the identification and expression of feelings of anticipatory mourning and grief. A total of six hypotheses stated that there would be significant pre- to postsession differences in each of the three variables: pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation, as measured during two different session and data collection scenarios. These scenarios included the independent observation and recording of the three subject variables and the subject's self-report of each variable. Reliability correlation coefficients were calculated for each of the different session and data-collection scenarios to help assess the correlation between primary and reliability observers. Pearson product moment correlations indicated reliability agreement coefficients of r = .85 and r = .90. One-tailed t-tests were performed on the collected data for subject pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation. Results of the t-tests were significant at the p < or = .001 (for observed pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation) and p < or = 005 (for self-reported pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation) levels. These results suggest that single-session music therapy interventions appear to be effective in increasing subject pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation during both data collection scenarios. Based on the results of these tests of the analyzed data, the hypotheses were all accepted. Tables illustrate pre- to post-session changes in levels of all three variables from both session and data-collection scenarios. Copies of the data-collection forms are also included in the Appendix. The discussion section addresses limitations of this study and suggestions for future studies.



Ambul Pediatr. 2008 Mar-Apr;8(2):117-28

Music for pain and anxiety in children undergoing medical procedures: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Klassen JA, Liang Y, Tjosvold L, Klassen TP, Hartling L.
From the Alberta Research Center for Child Health Evidence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the efficacy of music therapy (MT) on pain and anxiety in children undergoing clinical procedures. METHODS: We searched 16 electronic databases of published and unpublished studies, subject bibliographies, reference lists of relevant articles, and trials registries. Two reviewers independently screened 4559 citations and reviewed the full manuscript of 393 studies. Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria: randomized controlled trial, children aged 1 month to 18 years were examined, music was used as an intervention, and the study measured pain or anxiety. Music therapy was considered active if a music therapist was involved and music was used as a medium for interactive communication. Passive music therapy was defined as listening to music without the involvement of a music therapist. RESULTS: The 19 included trials involved 1513 subjects. The methodological quality of the studies was generally poor. Overall, MT showed a significant reduction in pain and anxiety (standardized mean difference [SMD] -0.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.55 to -0.14; 9 studies; N = 704; I(2) = 42%). When analyzed by outcome, MT significantly reduced anxiety (SMD -0.39; 95% CI, -0.76 to -0.03; 5 studies; n = 284; I(2) = 52.4%) and pain (SMD -0.39; 95% CI, -0.66 to -0.11; 5 studies; N = 465; I(2) = 49.7%). There was no evidence of publication bias. CONCLUSIONS: Music is effective in reducing anxiety and pain in children undergoing medical and dental procedures. Music can be considered an adjunctive therapy in clinical situations that produce pain or anxiety.



J Music Ther. 2007 Fall;44(3):217-41

Exploring the effects of music therapy on pediatric pain: phase 1.

Whitehead-Pleaux AM, Zebrowski N, Baryza MJ, Sheridan RL.
Shrines Burns Hospital-Boston, USA


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of music therapy on pain and anxiety in pediatric burn patients during nursing procedures. Nine subjects were randomly selected to participate in this study. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected on the patients' pain, anxiety, heart rate, blood oxygenation, and engagement level through measurement tools and interviews. The results from the qualitative and quantitative data indicated that music therapy reduced pain, anxiety, and behavioral distress. The quantitative data were analyzed and an inverse relationship between engagement in music therapy and lower behavioral distress scores was noted. Additionally, a linear relationship between engagement and behavioral distress was noted; significance was found but was moderated by the age of the child. However, no significant relationship was found between heart rate and behavioral distress. The results from the qualitative data from the interviews with the patients, parents, nurses and music therapist indicated that music therapy reduced pain and anxiety, and that engagement in music therapy enhanced relaxation. In addition, music therapy positively affected patients' mood, compliance, and the relaxation level. Finally, parents/guardians and nurses involved in the study reported that music therapy helped them to feel more relaxed as well.



Medsurg Nurs. 2007 Feb;16(1):7-14

The effect of music therapy on patients' perception and manifestation of pain, anxiety, and patient satisfaction.

Richards T, Johnson J, Sparks A, Emerson H.
West Virginia University Hospitals, Morgantown, WV, USA


An extensive review and synthesis of current research was completed to identify the clinical benefit of using music therapy in the hospital setting. It demonstrated that music therapy has the potential to improve the hospital experience of patients.



Holist Nurs Pract. 2006 Sep-Oct;20(5):218-24; quiz 225-6

The effect of music on pain and acute confusion in older adults undergoing hip and knee surgery.

McCaffrey R, Locsin R.
Christine E Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music listening in older adults following hip or knee surgery. Acute confusion and pain after surgery can increase length of stay and reduce function. Study results demonstrate a reduction in acute confusion and pain and improved ambulation and higher satisfaction scores in older adults who listened to music.



J Music Ther. 2006 Summer;43(2):136-53

The effects of music therapy on pediatric patients' pain and anxiety during donor site dressing change.

Whitehead-Pleaux AM, Baryza MJ, Sheridan RL.
St. Mary-of-the-Woods College


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of music therapy on pain and anxiety in pediatric burn patients during a donor site dressing change. Fourteen subjects were randomly selected to participate in this study. The experiment was conducted in the Reconstructive Unit of Shriners Burns Hospital-Boston. The experimental group's intervention consisted of live music and was compared to a control group whose intervention was verbal interaction. Psychological, behavioral, and physiological data were assessed through the Wong Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale, the Fear Thermometer, the Nursing Assessment of Pain Index, heart rate, and respiration rate. Data were analyzed using the ANCOVA, Mann-Whitney U, and regression analysis. The results were mixed and inconclusive. The members of the experimental group reported anecdotal information about the effects of music on pain and anxiety. An exploration of the limitations of the study and suggestions for further study are discussed.



Int Nurs Rev. 2006 Sep;53(3):189-96

Music as nursing intervention for pain in five Asian countries.

Lim PH, Locsin R.
Faculty of Nursing, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkla, Thailand


BACKGROUND: The use of music as intervention for relieving pain has increased in recent years, prompting its growing use among the people of the western world. However, among Asians, music has long been used for this purpose and continues to be so today. Despite this common knowledge, Asians have not generally written about the therapeutic effects of music. Consequently, most of the published research studies supporting this claim were conducted in western settings using western music. PURPOSE: To describe the use of music as intervention in painful conditions as experienced by people in five Asian countries: China, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. METHOD: Descriptive survey of studies using music as intervention for painful conditions conducted in selected five Asian countries. FINDINGS: Twelve studies including theses and dissertations, published and unpublished, were found; however, only nine met the inclusion criteria. Data were categorized according to research design, sample size, gender, age, duration of music, frequency of music intervention, types of pain and instruments used to measure pain, conceptual or theoretical frameworks and statistical significance of the study. Five of the nine studies declared significant decrease in pain, while three reported mixed results. Fundamentally, the findings of the studies suggested that with music, relief of pain was possible. IMPLICATIONS: The mixed results imply the need for further investigation of the effects of music in painful conditions. Thus, the authors suggest continuing studies on the effects of music as intervention in painful conditions, and encourage increasing global dissemination of these studies, particularly in international journals.



Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Jun;36(4):630-6

Effects of music therapy on pain, discomfort, and depression for patients with leg fractures.

Kwon IS, Kim J, Park KM.
Dongsan Medical Center, Korea


PURPOSE: To determine the effects of music therapy on pain, discomfort, and depression for patients with leg fractures. METHODS: Data were collected from 40 patients admitted in an orthopedic surgery care unit. The subjects included 20 intervention group members and 20 control group members. Music therapy was offered to intervention group members once a day for 3 days for 30-60 minutes per day. Pain was measured with a numeric rating scale and by measuring vital signs. Discomfort and depression were measured with self-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: Patients who received music therapy had a lower degree of pain than patients who did not receive music therapy as measured by the numeric pain score (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (p<0.01), diastolic blood pressure (p<0.001), pulse rate (p<0.001) and respiration (p<0.001). Patients who were provided with music therapy also had a lower degree of discomfort than patients who were not provided with this therapy (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that music therapy is an effective method for decreasing pain and dis-comfort for patients with leg fractures.



J Adv Nurs. 2006 Jun;54(5):553-62

Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability.

Siedliecki SL, Good M.
Department of Nursing Research and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA


AIM: This paper reports a study testing the effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability, and comparing the effects of researcher-provided music (standard music) with subject-preferred music (patterning music). BACKGROUND: Chronic non-malignant pain is characterized by pain that persists in spite of traditional interventions. Previous studies have found music to be effective in decreasing pain and anxiety related to postoperative, procedural and cancer pain. However, the effect of music on power, pain, depression, and disability in working age adults with chronic non-malignant pain has not been investigated. METHOD: A randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out with a convenience sample of 60 African American and Caucasian people aged 21-65 years with chronic non-malignant pain. They were randomly assigned to a standard music group (n = 22), patterning music group (n = 18) or control group (n = 20). Pain was measured with the McGill Pain Questionnaire short form; depression was measured with the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression scale; disability was measured with the Pain Disability Index; and power was measured with the Power as Knowing Participation in Change Tool (version II). RESULTS: The music groups had more power and less pain, depression and disability than the control group, but there were no statistically significant differences between the two music interventions. The model predicting both a direct and indirect effect for music was supported. CONCLUSION: Nurses can teach patients how to use music to enhance the effects of analgesics, decrease pain, depression and disability, and promote feelings of power.



Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2)

Music for pain relief.

Cepeda MS, Carr DB, Lau J, Alvarez H.
Javeriana University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesia, Cra 4- 70 -69, Bogota, Colombia


BACKGROUND: The efficacy of music for the treatment of pain has not been established. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of music on acute, chronic or cancer pain intensity, pain relief, and analgesic requirements. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, LILACS and the references in retrieved manuscripts. There was no language restriction. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of music on any type of pain in children or adults. We excluded trials that reported results of concurrent non-pharmacological therapies. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data was extracted by two independent review authors. We calculated the mean difference in pain intensity levels, percentage of patients with at least 50% pain relief, and opioid requirements. We converted opioid consumption to morphine equivalents. To explore heterogeneity, studies that evaluated adults, children, acute, chronic, malignant, labor, procedural, or experimental pain were evaluated separately, as well as those studies in which patients chose the type of music. MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-one studies involving 1867 subjects exposed to music and 1796 controls met inclusion criteria.In the 31 studies evaluating mean pain intensity there was a considerable variation in the effect of music, indicating statistical heterogeneity ( I(2) = 85.3%). After grouping the studies according to the pain model, this heterogeneity remained, with the exception of the studies that evaluated acute postoperative pain. In this last group, patients exposed to music had pain intensity that was 0.5 units lower on a zero to ten scale than unexposed subjects (95% CI: -0.9 to -0.2). Studies that permitted patients to select the music did not reveal a benefit from music; the decline in pain intensity was 0.2 units, 95% CI (-0.7 to 0.2).Four studies reported the proportion of subjects with at least 50% pain relief; subjects exposed to music had a 70% higher likelihood of having pain relief than unexposed subjects (95% CI: 1.21 to 2.37). NNT = 5 (95% CI: 4 to 13).Three studies evaluated opioid requirements two hours after surgery: subjects exposed to music required 1.0 mg (18.4%) less morphine (95% CI: -2.0 to -0.2) than unexposed subjects. Five studies assessed requirements 24 hours after surgery: the music group required 5.7 mg (15.4%) less morphine than the unexposed group (95% CI: -8.8 to -2.6). Five studies evaluated requirements during painful procedures: the difference in requirements showed a trend towards favoring the music group (-0.7 mg, 95% CI: -1.8 to 0.4). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Listening to music reduces pain intensity levels and opioid requirements, but the magnitude of these benefits is small and, therefore, its clinical importance unclear.



Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Feb;36(1):159-68

The effects of self-selected music on anxiety and pain during burn dressing changes

Son JT, Kim SH.
Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Korea


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music therapy on state anxiety and pain among patients undergoing burn dressing changes. METHOD: A convenience sample of 32 adult burn patients who were eligible and provided consent were included in the study which was a quasi-experimental study of a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design. Fifteen patients in the control group received the routine burn dressing changes but 17 patients in the experimental group listened to self-selected music through headphones connected to a CD player during burn dressing changes for three days. All subjects of the music group chose the type of music that would relax them. Before and after burn dressing changes, subjects completed the State Anxiety Inventory and self-report of pain scores. RESULT: There was a significant reduction in state anxiety before and after burn dressing changes in those who received music therapy in contrast to those who did not receive music therapy. The music group reported lower pain scores before and after burn dressing changes than did the non-music group. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that music therapy composed of self-selected music is a valuable intervention for the treatment of pain and anxiety in patients undergoing burn dressing changes.



J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2005;19(3):21-9

The effect of music therapy on postoperative pain, heart rate, systolic blood pressures and analgesic use following nasal surgery.

Tse MM, Chan MF, Benzie IF.
School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China


The prevalence of unrelieved postoperative pain is high and may lead to adverse effects including prolonged hospitalization and delayed recovery. Distraction may be an effective pain-relieving strategy, and can be implemented by several means including affective imaging, games, and possibly music. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of music therapy on postoperative pain. Fifty-seven patients (24 females, 33 males; mean +/- SD age 39.9 +/- 14.35 years [range 15 to 69 years] were matched for age and sex and then nonselectively assigned to either an experimental (n = 27) or a control (n = 30) group. Music was played intermittently to members of the experimental group during the first 24 hour postoperative period. Pain intensity was measured using the Pain Verbal Rating Scales (VRS). Significant decreases in pain intensity over time were found in the experimental group compared to the control group (p < 0.0001). In addition, the experimental group had a lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate, and took fewer oral analgesics for pain. These findings suggest that music therapy is an effective nonpharmacologic approach for postoperative pain management.



Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2005 Jun;48(5):217-24

Effect of music therapy among hospitalized patients with chronic low back pain: a controlled, randomized trial

Guétin S, Coudeyre E, Picot MC, Ginies P, Graber-Duvernay B, Ratsimba D, Vanbiervliet W, Blayac JP, Hérisson C.
Association de musicothérapie applications et recherches cliniques (AM-ARC), 4, place Laissac, Montpellier 34000, France


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of music therapy in hospitalized patients with chronic low back pain. METHODS: A controlled, randomized study (N = 65). During a stationary rehabilitation stay of 12 days, 65 patients with low back pain were randomized to receive on alternate months standardized physical therapy plus 4 music therapy sessions between day 1 and day 5 (intervention group; N = 33) or standardized physical therapy alone (control group; N =32). Scores for pain (as measured on a visual analogue scale [VAS]), disability (Oswestry index) and anxiety and depression (as measured on the hospital anxiety and depression scale [HAD]) were collected on day 1, 5 and 12. Pain intensity was also evaluated on a VAS just before and after music therapy sessions. RESULTS: Introduced music therapy sessions during a stationary rehabilitation stay in patients with chronic low back pain reduce pain (-2.0+/-2.7 vs -1.8+/-2.6) but not significantly. However, music therapy significantly (p < 0.01) reduced disability as measured on the Owestry index between day 1 and day 5 (-11.8+/-17.8 vs -2.5+/-9.4), anxiety (-3.5+/-3.7 vs -0.9+/-2.7) and depression (-2.1+/-3.0 vs 0.6+/-2.4). The immediate effect on pain intensity (VAS score) was confirmed (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our results confirmed the effectiveness of music therapy for hospitalized patients with chronic low back pain. Music therapy can be a useful complementary treatment in chronic pain and associated anxiety-depression and behavioural consequences.



J Music Ther. 2005 Spring;42(1):81-92.

The effects of music on pain perception of stroke patients during upper extremity joint exercises.

Kim SJ, Koh I.
University of Kansas


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of music therapy on pain perception of stroke patients during upper extremity joint exercises. Ten stroke patients (1 male and 9 females) ranging in age from 61 to 73 participated in the study. Music conditions used in the study consisted of: (a) song, (b) karaoke accompaniment (same music to condition A except singers' voices), and (c) no music. Exercise movements in this study included hand, wrist, and shoulder joints. During the 8-week period music therapy sessions, subjects repeated 3 conditions according to the randomized orders and subjects rated their perceived pain on a scale immediately after each condition. The General Linear Model (GLM) Repeated Measures ANOVA revealed that there were no significant differences in pain rating across the three music conditions. However, positive affects and verbal responses, while performing upper extremity exercises with both music and karaoke accompaniment music, were observed using video observations.



J Adv Nurs. 2003 Dec;44(5):517-24

Effect of music on chronic osteoarthritis pain in older people.

McCaffrey R, Freeman E.
Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing, Boca Raton, Florida 33434, USA


BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative disease in humans. It usually begins in middle age and is progressive. Chronic pain in older people presents a significant obstacle in maintaining function and independence. Previous studies have shown that music can improve motivation, elevate mood, and increase feelings of control in older people. PURPOSE: The purpose of this randomized clinical trial was to examine the influence of music as a nursing intervention on osteoarthritis pain in elders. METHOD: Data were collected using the short form of the McGill Pain Questionnaire with 66 elders suffering from chronic osteoarthritis pain. Differences in perceptions of pain were measured over 14 days in an experimental group who listened to music for 20 minutes daily and a control group who sat quietly for 20 minutes daily. All participants completed the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) on day 1, 7, and 14 of the study. RESULTS: Results of t-tests indicated that those who listened to music had less pain on both the Pain Rating Index on day 1 (P = 0.001), day 7 (P = 0.001) and day 14 (P = 0.001) and on the Visual Analogue Scale on day 1 (P = 0.001), day 7 (P = 0.001) and day 14 (P = 0.001), when compared with those who sat quietly and did not listen to music. A repeated measure analysis of variance controlling for pretest measures demonstrated a significant decrease in pain among experimental group participants when compared with the control group on the pain descriptor section of the SF-MPQ (P = 0.001) and the visual analogue portion of the SF-MPQ (P = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Listening to music was an effective nursing intervention for the reduction of chronic osteoarthritis pain in the community-dwelling elders in this study.