Effects of Live Music Therapy Sessions on Quality of Life Indicators, Medications Administered and Hospital Length of Stay for Patients Undergoing Elective Surgical Procedures for Brain


Journal of Music Therapy




The physiological and psychological stress that brain tumor patients undergo during the entire surgical experience can considerably affect several aspects of their hospitalization. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of live music therapy on quality of life indicators, amount of medications administered and length of stay for persons receiving elective surgical procedures of the brain. Subjects (N = 27) were patients admitted for some type of surgical procedure of the brain. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the control group receiving no music intervention (n = 13) or the experimental group receiving pre and postoperative live music therapy sessions (n = 14). Anxiety, mood, pain, perception of hospitalization or procedure, relaxation, and stress were measured using a self-report Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for each of the variables. The documented administration of postoperative pain medications; the frequency, dosage, type, and how it was given was also compared between groups. Experimental subjects live and interactive music therapy sessions, including a pre-operative session and continuing with daily sessions until the patient was discharged home. Control subjects received routine hospital care without any music therapy intervention. Differences in experimental pretest and posttest scores were analyzed using a Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Rank test. Results indicated statistically significant differences for 4 of the 6 quality of life measures: Anxiety (p = .03), perception of hospitalization (p = .03), relaxation (p = .001), and stress (p = .001). No statistically significant differences were found for mood (p > .05) or pain (p > .05) levels. Administration amounts of nausea and pain medications were compared with a Two-Way ANOVA with One Repeated Measure resulting in no significant differences between groups and medications, F(1, 51) = 0.03; p > .05. Results indicate no significant differences between groups for length of stay (t = .97, df = 25, p > .05). This research study indicates that live music therapy using patient-preferred music can be beneficial in improving quality of life indicators such as anxiety, perception of the hospitalization or procedure, relaxation, and stress in patients undergoing surgical procedures of the brain.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Analgesic Intake; Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Hospital Length of Stay; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Live Music Listening; Medication Use; Mental Health; Mood; Mood Scales; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Score or Rating; Patient Experience; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Quality of Life; Relaxation; Relaxation Levels; Self-Report Measures; Stress; Surgery; Surgical Patients; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Adolescents; Elderly; Elderly; Analysis of Variance; Anxiety; Brain Neoplasms; Children; Elective Surgical Procedures; Length of Stay; Pain; Pain Measurement; Personal Satisfaction; Quality of Life

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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