Bridging Music and Military Mental Health: A Pilot Study Examining Music Interventions in the Military Outpatient Mental Health Waiting Room Environment


Music and Medicine




Music is shown to assist in reducing patient anxiety and distress in civilian medical environments. There is a dearth of research, however, examining how music therapeutics impacts patients in a military context. As such, researchers at Naval Medical Center San Diego performed a pilot study examining the effect of music on patients at a military out-patient mental health clinic. Using a quasi-experimental design, with quantitative and qualitative measures, the researchers assessed patient perceived 'pleasantness' apropos of an alternating waiting room environment, with the control group being exposed to daytime television and the experimental group being exposed to relaxing music with nature scenes. In total, 149 participants completed the pilot study; 76 participants formed the control group, while 73 formed the experimental group. The results indicate that military out-patient mental health patients are positively impacted by music interventions in their waiting room experience, as revealed by an increase in reported 'pleasantness' in the experimental group as compared to the control group. The researchers recommend that further work be performed in comprehending the salubrious effects of music interventions in the military clinical setting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Distress; Medical Office; Mental Health; Music Medicine; Music and Imagery; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life; Self-Report Measures; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

military mental health; waiting room experience; music and Outpatient mental health setting; Hospital Environment; Mental Health; Mental Health Services; Outpatient Treatment; Military Personnel

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Quasi-Experimental Study

Document Type