The Effect of Music Therapy on Relaxation, Anxiety, Pain Perception, and Nausea in Adult Solid Organ Transplant Patients


Journal of Music Therapy




Organ transplant recipients characteristically experience low levels of relaxation and high levels of anxiety, pain, and nausea. Although music therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in ameliorating these types of conditions with patients in other areas of medical hospitals, no studies have evaluated the effects of music therapy on solid organ transplant patients. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of music therapy on anxiety, relaxation, pain, and nausea levels in recovering patients on the adult transplant unit of the hospital utilizing a pre-posttest design. Participants (N = 58) received an individual 15-35 minute music therapy session consisting of live patient-preferred music and therapeutic social interaction. To remain consistent with the hospital's evaluative instruments during this pilot study, participants' self-reported levels of anxiety, relaxation, pain, and nausea, were based on separate 10-point Likert-type scales. The principal investigator observed affect and verbalizations at pre and posttest. Results indicated there were significant improvements in self-reported levels of relaxation, anxiety (both p < .001), pain (p < .01), and nausea (p < .05). Although there was no reliability measure, there were significant increases in positive verbalizations and positive affect (p < .001). All participants reported that they would desire music therapy again during a future long-term hospital stay. From the results of this exploratory study, it seems that music therapy can be a viable psychosocial intervention for hospitalized postoperative solid transplant patients. Implications for clinical practice and suggestions for future research are provided.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Likert Scale; Live Music Listening; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Music and Relaxation; Organ Transplantation; Pain; Pain Score or Rating; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Receptive Music Methods; Relaxation; Relaxation Levels; Self-Report Measures; Surgery; Surgical Patients

Indexed Terms

Combined Modality Therapy; Interpersonal Relations; Nausea; Organ Transplantation; Postoperative Pain; Patient Satisfaction; Postoperative Care; Relaxation; Relaxation Therapy; Surveys and Questionnaires; Vomiting

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

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