Self-Managed Music-Guided Exercise Intervention Improved Upper and Lower Extremity Muscle Strength for ICU Survivors-A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study

Biol Res Nurs. 2022 Apr;24(2):145-151. doi: 10.1177/10998004211050297. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to evaluate effects of a self-managed music-guided exercise intervention on muscle strength among intensive care unit (ICU) survivors. Methods We used a two-arm randomized-controlled trial. Following ICU discharge, eligible participants were assigned to one of two groups: music group (n = 13) or active control group (n = 13). The music group was taught to self-manage upper and lower extremity exercise movements by listening to an individualized music-guided playlist twice daily for 5 days. The active control group was provided an exercise brochure and advised to perform the same exercises at the same intervals. Dynamometers were used to measure muscle strength. T-tests and Weighted GEE models were used for testing the intervention effect between groups. Results Twenty-six subjects were enrolled. The mean age was 62.8 (SD = 13.8), 53.8% were male, 65.4% were Caucasian, and the mean APACHE severity of illness score was 59 (SD = 23.4). Reasons for ICU admission were mainly cardiac and medical. The music group showed significant improvements in handgrip, plantar flexion, leg extension, elbow flexion, and shoulder adduction strengths on left and right sides. Additionally, left and right leg extensor and left plantar flexor strengths showed significant post-differences, and small to moderately large effect sizes, between the music group and control group. Conclusion These findings suggest that a music-guided exercise intervention has the potential to improve muscle strength in ICU survivors and prevent further post-ICU deterioration in ICU survivors. Future trials should build upon these preliminary findings.

Trial registration: NCT03885687.

Keywords: critical illness; exercise; muscle weakness; music intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lower Extremity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength
  • Music*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self-Management*
  • Survivors

Associated data