Music as an Adjuvant Therapy in Control of Pain and Symptoms in Hospitalized Adults: A Systematic Review


Pain Management Nursing




The objective of this review is to evaluate the evidence regarding the use of music as an adjuvant therapy for pain control in hospitalized adults. The search terms music, music therapy, pain, adults, inpatient, and hospitalized were used to search the Cochrane Library, Cinahl, Medline, Natural Standard, and Scopus databases from January 2005 to March 2011. (A systematic review conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration has extensively covered the time frame from 1966 to 2004.) Seventeen randomized controlled trials met criteria for review and inclusion. Seven of the research studies were conducted with surgical patients, three with medical patients, one with medical-surgical patients, four with intensive care patients, and two with pregnant patients. The combined findings of these studies provide support for the use of music as an adjuvant approach to pain control in hospitalized adults. The use of music is safe, inexpensive, and an independent nursing function that can be easily incorporated into the routine care of patients.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Critically Ill; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Surgery; Surgical Patients

Indexed Terms

Anxiety; Pain; Pain Management

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type