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

Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2005 Jun;48(5):217-24. doi: 10.1016/j.annrmp.2005.02.003. Epub 2005 Mar 4.
[Article in French]


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.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*