The Effect of Music on Discomfort Experienced by Intensive Care Unit Patients During Turning: A Randomized Cross-over Study


International Journal of Nursing Practice




Research consistently demonstrates that intensive care unit (ICU) patients experience pain, discomfort and anxiety despite analgesic and sedative use. The most painful procedure reported by critically ill patients is being turned. Music diminishes anxiety and discomfort in some populations; however, its effect on critically ill patients remains unknown. This research aimed to identify the effect of music on discomfort experienced by ICU patients during turning using a single blind randomized cross-over design. Seventeen post-operative ICU patients were recruited and treatment order randomized. Discomfort and anxiety were measured 15 min before and immediately after two turning procedures. Findings indicated that listening to music 15 min before and during turning did not significantly reduce discomfort or anxiety. Pain management might effectively be addressing discomfort and anxiety experienced during turning. Given previous studies have identified turning as painful, current results are promising and it might be useful to determine if this is widespread.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Critically Ill; Discomfort; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Intensive Care Unit (ICU); Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Elderly; Anxiety; Critical Illness; Cross-Over Studies; Intensive Care Units; Pain; Posture; Single-Blind Method

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type