Music as a Therapy to Alleviate Anxiety During Inpatient Rehabilitation for Stroke

Rehabil Nurs. 2019 Jan/Feb;44(1):29-34. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000102.


Purpose: The aim of the study was to determine if listening to music may reduce anxiety experienced by stroke patients during acute rehabilitation.

Design: A prospective, nonblinded, randomized study in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.

Methods: Fifty participants were randomized into two groups: (1) 1 hour of music (intervention) or (2) no music (control). All participants completed pretest anxiety and depression screening and 44 completed the posttest anxiety screening. Differences between groups were determined using chi-square and t tests.

Findings: After listening to music for 1 hour, participants who completed the posttest (n = 44) reported significantly less anxiety (p < .0001) compared to before the intervention. The control group showed no difference in their pre- and posttest anxiety scores (p = .84). No differences were determined among age, gender, or diagnostic groups.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that music intervention may help lessen anxiety in rehabilitation patients poststroke.

Clinical relevance: Offering musical intervention to stroke patients in rehabilitation may lessen symptoms of anxiety.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy / methods
  • Music Therapy / standards*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / standards*