Wellbeing and Hospitalized Children: Can Music Help?


Psychology of Music




Live music in hospital has been suggested to be effective in helping paediatric patients to relax, and reduce their pain and anxiety. In this study we explored whether it is music per se or the adult attention linked to it that might be beneficial to the children. Thirty-seven paediatric patients with cardiac and/or respiratory problems between the ages of 7 days and 4 years were recruited at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London. Each child participated in three 10-minute sessions: 1) Music; 2) Reading; 3) No interaction. Their physiological responses, i.e., oxygen saturation level and heart rate, and pain assessment were taken before and after each session. A significant decrease in heart rate and pain level were found at the end of the music session. Oxygen saturation level increased significantly only in the younger paediatric patients group, mostly at the end of the no interaction session, and less so at the end of the music session. The music survey showed that parents and hospital staff rated the use of music in hospital positively. We conclude that it is music per se, and not the social component associated with it, that helps to improve paediatric patients’ wellbeing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Children; Cardiovascular Diseases; Heart Rate; Hospital Setting; Live Music Listening; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Oxygen Saturation; Pain; Psychological Outcomes; Receptive Music Methods; Respiratory Conditions; Vital Signs; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

live music; paediatric patients; pain; physiological responses; wellbeing; Hospitalized Patients; Physiology; Heart Disorders; Respiratory Tract Disorders; Well Being

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

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