Aim: This paper is a report of a meta-analysis conducted to evaluate the efficacy of music-assisted relaxation for sleep quality in adults and elders with sleep complaints with or without a co-morbid medical condition.
Background: Clinical studies have shown that music can influence treatment outcome in a positive and beneficial way. Music holds the promise of counteracting psychological presleep arousal and thus improving the preconditions for sleep.
Data sources: We conducted a search in the Embase (1997 - July 2008), Medline (1950 - July 2008), Cochrane (2000 - July 2008), Psychinfo (1987 - July 2008) and Cinahl (1982 - July 2008) databases for randomized controlled trials reported in English, German, French and Dutch. The outcome measure of interest was sleep quality.
Methods: Data were extracted from the included studies using predefined data fields. The researchers independently assessed the quality of the trials using the Delphi list. Only studies with a score of 5 points or higher were included. A pooled analysis was performed based on a fixed effect model.
Results: Five randomized controlled trials with six treatment conditions and a total of 170 participants in intervention groups and 138 controls met our inclusion criteria. Music-assisted relaxation had a moderate effect on the sleep quality of patients with sleep complaints (standardized mean difference, -0.74; 95% CI: -0.96, -0.46). Subgroup analysis revealed no statistically significant contribution of accompanying measures.
Conclusion: Music-assisted relaxation can be used without intensive investment in training and materials and is therefore cheap, easily available and can be used by nurses to promote music-assisted relaxation to improve sleep quality.