Effects of Music Therapy vs. Music Medicine on physiological and psychological parameters of intensive care patients: A randomized controlled trial

by Shultis, Carol L., Ph.D., TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, 2012, 186 pages; 3510346


This randomized controlled trial examined the effects of Music Therapy (MT), Music Medicine (MM), or Attention Control (AC) on physiological and psychological parameters of stress for adult and older adult patients receiving care in the Intensive Care Unit of a community general hospital. Previous studies have indicated effectiveness of music therapy or music medicine for these medical patients, but few data are available for music therapy interventions. This study was an attempt to add to available information about the effects of music therapy compared to the effects of music medicine or attention control for this patient population. Participants (twenty-eight adults, ranging in age from 37–83 years; not mechanically ventilated at the time of session) were randomly assigned to music therapy, music medicine or the attention control group. Repeated measures of heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and anxiety and pain levels were collected before the session, immediately after the session and at 60 minutes post-session. Anxiety was measured using the Faces Anxiety Scale, and pain was self-reported via a Visual Analog Scale. Post-session length of stay was collected from the participants' medical records. Overall, there were no significant interactions among study groups and outcome measures. There was a statistically significant difference between length of stay for music therapy participants and attention control. Over time from pre-session to post-session, statistically significant decreases in anxiety scores were measured for both music medicine and music therapy groups. Pain scores decreased for both music medicine and music therapy groups, however not significantly. Some medically beneficial effects of music therapy or music medicine were evident in the data.

AdviserCheryl Dileo
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsMental health; Psychobiology; Health sciences
Publication Number3510346

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