Music as Nursing Intervention for Pain in Five Asian Countries


International Nursing Review




BACKGROUND: The use of music as intervention for relieving pain has increased in recent years, prompting its growing use among the people of the western world. However, among Asians, music has long been used for this purpose and continues to be so today. Despite this common knowledge, Asians have not generally written about the therapeutic effects of music. Consequently, most of the published research studies supporting this claim were conducted in western settings using western music. PURPOSE: To describe the use of music as intervention in painful conditions as experienced by people in five Asian countries: China, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. METHOD: Descriptive survey of studies using music as intervention for painful conditions conducted in selected five Asian countries. FINDINGS: Twelve studies including theses and dissertations, published and unpublished, were found; however, only nine met the inclusion criteria. Data were categorized according to research design, sample size, gender, age, duration of music, frequency of music intervention, types of pain and instruments used to measure pain, conceptual or theoretical frameworks and statistical significance of the study. Five of the nine studies declared significant decrease in pain, while three reported mixed results. Fundamentally, the findings of the studies suggested that with music, relief of pain was possible. IMPLICATIONS: The mixed results imply the need for further investigation of the effects of music in painful conditions. Thus, the authors suggest continuing studies on the effects of music as intervention in painful conditions, and encourage increasing global dissemination of these studies, particularly in international journals.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Attitude to Health; China; Choice Behavior; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Health Services Needs and Demand; Information Dissemination; Korea; Nursing Evaluation Research; Pain; Pain Measurement; Philippines; Publishing; Research Design; Sample Size; Taiwan; Thailand

Study Type

Editorials, Opinions, Position Papers

PubMed ID


Document Type