The Anxiety- and Pain-Reducing Effects of Music Interventions: A Systematic Review


U. Nilsson


AORN Journal




Musical interventions have been used in health care settings to reduce patient pain, anxiety, and stress, although the exact mechanism of these therapies is not well understood. This article provides a systematic review of 42 randomized controlled trials of the effects of music interventions in perioperative settings. Music intervention had positive effects on reducing patients' anxiety and pain in approximately half of the reviewed studies. Further research into music therapy is warranted in light of the low cost of implementation and the potential ability of music to reduce perioperative patient distress.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Distress; Hospital Setting; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Score or Rating; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Surgery; Surgical Patients

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Anxiety; Evidence-Based Medicine; Nursing Evaluation Research; Operating Room Nursing; Pain; Perioperative Care; Preoperative Care; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Research Design; Severity of Illness Index; Time Factors

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type