The effect of self-selected music during colonoscopy on anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure

Appl Nurs Res. 2002 Aug;15(3):126-36. doi: 10.1053/apnr.2002.34140.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music therapy on self-reported and physiological signs of anxiety among ambulatory patients undergoing colonoscopy. Thirty-two patients were randomly assigned to either an experimental group who listened to music during the colonoscopy or a standard procedure no music control group. Before and after the procedure, subjects completed the State Anxiety Inventory. Physiological signs of anxiety, including heart rate and blood pressure, were monitored at four time points during the procedure. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated a significant group by time interaction on the physiological signs of anxiety. Post hoc analysis indicated that heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased among the music intervention group during the procedure while remaining unchanged in the control group. No significant effect of the treatment was observed on the State Anxiety Inventory, although a trend indicated that the music intervention decreased state anxiety. Finally, the group who received the music intervention required less physician-administered sedation during the procedure than did the control group. These findings indicate that music therapy has the potential to reduce physiological indicators of anxiety and the need for sedation among individuals undergoing a colonoscopy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety
  • Blood Pressure
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colonoscopy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Stress, Psychological*