Effectiveness of a music therapy intervention on relaxation and anxiety for patients receiving ventilatory assistance

Heart Lung. 1998 May-Jun;27(3):169-76. doi: 10.1016/s0147-9563(98)90004-8.


Objective: To test the effects of music therapy on relaxation and anxiety reduction for patients receiving ventilatory assistance.

Design: Two-group, pretest-posttest experimental design with repeated measures. Subjects randomized to either a 30-minute music condition or a rest period.

Setting: Four urban midwestern intensive care units.

Subjects: Fifty-four alert, nonsedated patients receiving mechanical ventilation.

Outcome measures: State anxiety (pretest and posttest), heart rate, and respiratory rate obtained every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.

Results: Subjects who received music therapy reported significantly less anxiety posttest (10.1) than those subjects in the control group (16.2). Heart rate and respiratory rate decreased over time for those subjects in the music group as compared with the control group subjects.

Conclusions: A single music therapy session was found to be effective for decreasing anxiety and promoting relaxation, as indicated by decreases in heart rate and respiratory rate over the intervention period with this sample of patients receiving ventilatory assistance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Arousal
  • Critical Care / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Respiration, Artificial / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome