The effects of massage and music on pain, anxiety and relaxation in burn patients: Randomized controlled clinical trial

Burns. 2017 Aug;43(5):1034-1043. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2017.01.011. Epub 2017 Feb 4.


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of massage and music on pain intensity, anxiety intensity and relaxation level in burn patients.

Introduction: Pain and anxiety are common among burn patients, but there are many physical and psychological consequences.

Methods: This randomized controlled clinical trial with factorial design 2×2 included 240 burn patients admitted at Shahid Motahari Burns Hospital, Tehran, Iran, between September 2013 and May 2015. The patients were allocated into the following groups: (i) control (n=60) receiving the conventional primary care, (ii) music group (n=60) receiving their favorite songs, (iii) massage group (n=60) receiving Swedish massage, and (iv) music-plus-massage group (n=60) receiving a combination of their favorite songs and Swedish massage, for 20min once a day for 3 consecutive days, using random permuted blocks of sizes 4 with a 1:1 ratio. To collect the data before and after the intervention, a specific Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was applied for pain intensity, anxiety intensity, and relaxation level. The data were analyzed using SPSS, version 21.

Results: Our findings showed a decrease in pain and anxiety intensity and an increase in relaxation level in all three intervention groups as compared to the control group, indicating there was no significant difference among the interventions applied. Furthermore, following application of each intervention, pain and anxiety intensity decreased and relaxation level increased in the intervention groups as compared to before intervention.

Conclusion: Our results revealed that music, massage and a combination of both interventions were effective on reducing pain and anxiety intensity and increasing relaxation level. Due to easy, low-cost and availability of the interventions applied, these complementary therapies are suggested for the burn patients. Although application of a single complementary therapy is cost-effective, further studies are required to determine the most effective and cost-effective method to improve the burn care.

Keywords: Anxiety; Burn; Massage; Music; Pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Burns / complications
  • Burns / psychology
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Music
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods*