The Effect of Symphonic and Lounge Music Upon Anxiety and Pain in a Sample of Romanian Dental Patients


Cognition, Brain, Behavior




Many patients with dental anxiety avoid dental visits. Listening to music is an effective method to reduce anxiety. Our objective was to examine the effects of musical audition in reducing anxiety and perceived pain in a sample of Romanian dental patients. We expected to find significantly reduced anxiety in the two intervention groups, and significantly lower levels of perceived pain in the intervention groups compared with the control group. The 123 participants involved were randomly assigned in control (CG-no music—38 participants), the symphonic (41 participants), and lounge music groups (44 participants). The subjective level of anxiety was measured on a 10-points Likert scale (10—very tensioned), whereas the objective level of anxiety was measured using the pulse rate. Perceived pain was also measured on a 10-points Likert scale (10—very painful). Results indicate that the musical audition had no effect upon the reduction in subjective anxiety, irrespective of the type of music. This may reflect that the only variable that had an effect on subjective anxiety is ending the dental procedure. Objective levels of anxiety present a decreasing pattern in both experimental groups with no significant decrease in the control group. The severity of the intervention is a significant predictor of perceived pain, suggesting that the complexity of the dental procedure is the only variable that influences retrospectively perceived pain. Future studies should test alternative methods (music preferred by patients, or music that previously worked for them as relaxation method). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Dental Procedures; Likert Scale; Medical Office; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain or Score Rating; Procedural Pain; Pulse Rate; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Vital signs

Indexed Terms

dental anxiety; pain; pulse; symphonic and lounge music; Dental Treatment

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type