Effects of Listening to Music Versus Environmental Sounds in Passive and Active Situations on Levels of Pain and Fatigue in Fibromyalgia


Pain Management Nursing




In fibromyalgia, pain symptoms such as hyperalgesia and allodynia are associated with fatigue. Mechanisms underlying such symptoms can be modulated by listening to pleasant music. We expected that listening to music, because of its emotional impact, would have a greater modulating effect on the perception of pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia than listening to nonmusical sounds. To investigate this hypothesis, we carried out a 4-week study in which patients with fibromyalgia listened to either preselected musical pieces or environmental sounds when they experienced pain in active (while carrying out a physical activity) or passive (at rest) situations. Concomitant changes of pain and fatigue levels were evaluated. When patients listened to music or environmental sounds at rest, pain and fatigue levels were significantly reduced after 20 minutes of listening, with no difference of effect magnitude between the two stimuli. This improvement persisted 10 minutes after the end of the listening session. In active situations, pain did not increase in presence of the two stimuli. Contrary to our expectations, music and environmental sounds produced a similar relieving effect on pain and fatigue, with no benefit gained by listening to pleasant music over environmental sounds.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Chronic Pain; Fatigue; Fibromyalgia; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Pain at Ambulation; Pain at Rest; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Environment; Exercise; Fatigue; Fibromyalgia; Motor Activity; Pain; Pain Management; Pain Measurement; Rest; Sensory Art Therapies

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type