The effects of music as therapy on the overall well-being of elderly patients on maintenance hemodialysis

Biol Res Nurs. 2012 Jul;14(3):277-85. doi: 10.1177/1099800411413259. Epub 2011 Jun 27.


In this study, the authors explored the use of music during hemodialysis (HD) as a complementary therapy to improve overall well-being in elderly patients. The authors recruited a convenience sample of 88 patients on maintenance HD from a teaching hospital in northern Taiwan and randomly assigned them to either an experimental group (n = 44) or a control group (n = 44). In the first week, participants in the experimental group created their own music playlists. During the second week, these participants listened to music from their own playlists during each HD session (three times/week). The authors evaluated the effects of music as therapy by assessing its impact on perceived stressors and adverse reactions during HD (HD Adverse Reactions Self-Assessment Scale and HD Stressor Scale [HSS]) and measuring changes in physiological indices during the course of the music listening. After 1 week of the use of music as therapy during HD, the authors noted significant reductions in the frequency and severity of adverse reactions during dialysis and in scores on the HSS, p < .001. The authors also observed significantly decreased respiratory rate and significantly increased finger temperature and oxygen saturation, p < .001, during the same period. In conclusion, listening to music during HD may promote overall patient well-being. It may thus serve as a complementary form of therapy that facilitates care and delivery of adequate dialysis and thus improves overall patient well-being in the long run.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Music Therapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Taiwan