Can Live Music Therapy Reduce Distress and Pain in Children With Burns After Wound Care Procedures? A Randomized Controlled Trial






OBJECTIVE: Burn wound care procedures are very painful and lead to distress. Live music therapy has shown beneficial effects on distress and pain in specific pediatric patient populations. In this study we measured whether live music therapy has beneficial effects in terms of less distress and pain in children with burns after wound care procedures. METHODS: This randomized assessor-blinded controlled trial (RCT) took place at the burns unit of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. It included newly admitted inpatients between the ages of 0 and 13 years undergoing their first or second wound care procedures. Excluded were children with a hearing impairment or low level of consciousness. The intervention group received one live music therapy session directly after wound care in addition to standard care. The control group received standard care only. The primary outcome was distress measured with the Observational Scale of Behavioral Distress-revised (OSBD-r). The secondary outcome was pain measured with the COMFORT-behavioral scale (COMFORT-B). In addition, in children older than 5 years self-reported distress with the validated Wong-Baker scale (FACES) and pain with the Faces Pain Scale-Revised (FPS-R) were measured. Patients in both groups were videotaped for three minutes before wound care; during the music therapy or the control condition; and for two minutes thereafter. Two researchers, blinded to the study condition, independently scored the OSBD-r and the COMFORT-B from the video footage before and after music therapy. RESULTS: We included 135 patients, median age 22.6 months (IQR 15.4-40.7 months). Change scores did not significantly differ between the intervention and the control groups for either distress (p=0.53; d=0.11; 95% CI -0.23 to 0.45) or pain (p=0.99; d=0.04; 95% CI -0.30 to 0.38). Self-reported distress in a small group of children (n=18) older than 5 years indicated a significant reduction in distress after live music therapy (p=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Live music therapy was not found effective in reducing distress and pain in young children after burn wound care. Older children might be more responsive to this intervention.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Behavioral Scales; Burns; Children; Distress; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Live Music Listening; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Procedural Pain; Self-Report Measures; Wound Care; Wound Pain

Indexed Terms

Adolescents; Burns; Children; Child, Preschool; Infants; Newborn Infants; Pain Measurement; Procedural Pain; Single-Blind Method; South Africa; Stress; Burn; Children; Distress; Pain; Wound care procedures

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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