The anxiety- and pain-reducing effects of music interventions: a systematic review

AORN J. 2008 Apr;87(4):780-807. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2007.09.013.


Musical interventions have been used in health care settings to reduce patient pain, anxiety, and stress, although the exact mechanism of these therapies is not well understood. This article provides a systematic review of 42 randomized controlled trials of the effects of music interventions in perioperative settings. Music intervention had positive effects on reducing patients' anxiety and pain in approximately half of the reviewed studies. Further research into music therapy is warranted in light of the low cost of implementation and the potential ability of music to reduce perioperative patient distress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Operating Room Nursing / methods
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Perioperative Care / methods*
  • Perioperative Care / nursing
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Preoperative Care / nursing
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design / standards
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome