Comparing Three Music Therapy Interventions for Anxiety and Relaxation in Youth With Amplified Pain


Journal of Music Therapy




Research in pediatric hospitals has shown that active music engagement, preferred music listening, and music-assisted relaxation can decrease anxiety and increase relaxation responses. However, there is little research on the use of music therapy with pediatric chronic pain conditions such as amplified pain syndromes. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of 3 specific music therapy interventions (active music engagement, live patient-selected music, and music-assisted relaxation) on anxiety and relaxation levels in youth (ages 10–18) participating in a 40 hr per week hospital-based intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment program. A sample of 48 patients participated in this study which utilized a 3-period, 3-treatment cross-over design with 3 interventions delivered in a quasi-randomized order determined by when the patients started the treatment program. State anxiety was measured via the state form of the State-Trait Inventory for Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety for Children and relaxation scores were assessed with a Visual Analog Scale. Statistically significant changes were found in anxiety and relaxation outcomes across all interventions provided. Results suggest that music therapy services (using active music engagement, live patient-selected music, and music-assisted relaxation) may be an effective modality to decrease anxiety and increase relaxation levels in pediatric patients with amplified pain syndromes.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adolescents; Anxiety; Children; Chronic Pain; Hospital Setting; Mental Relaxation; Music and Relaxation; Music Therapy; Pain; Relaxation; Self-Report Measures; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Adolescents; amplified pain syndrome; chronic pain; anxiety; relaxation; Pain; Pediatrics

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

Document Type