Music therapy and pediatric chronic pain: A scoping review


Music and Medicine




Chronic pain in the pediatric population is a complex and multi-faceted condition. Prevalent types of chronic pain reported in childhood include headaches, visceral pain and musculoskeletal pain. The purpose of this scoping review was to discover what is known from current literature about the effectiveness of music therapy used as a therapeutic intervention for children with chronic pain. The Arksey & O’Malley scoping review methodological framework and the guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews provided by the Joanna Briggs Institute were followed to conduct this review. A total of five publications were included. Music therapy interventions and their current geographical locations where music therapy is incorporated into integrative medicine and rehabilitation programs for pediatric chronic pain are presented. The common threads of music therapy interventions incorporated refer to the use of receptive, active and interactive music therapy through individual sessions only. Specific interventions highlight the success in utilizing song singing, song writing techniques and the musical role play of negative everyday scenarios associated with pain. All studies encourage further research within the area. Several gaps have been outlined that indicate the need for further research of music therapy and/or music medicine for pediatric chronic pain internationally, and the effectiveness of group music therapy as an intervention for pediatric chronic pain. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Pain; Chronic Pain; Pain Management and Control; Children; Music Therapy

Indexed Terms

Chronic Pain; children; chronic pain; complex pain; pediatrics; Pediatrics

Document Type