The Effect of Music and Progressive Muscle Relaxation on Anxiety, Fatigue, and Quality of Life in Family Caregivers of Hospice Patients

Yoon Kyung Choi MME, MT-BC


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and music combined with progressive muscle relaxation on the reduction of anxiety, fatigue, and improvement of quality of life in family hospice caregivers. Subjects (N = 32) were divided randomly into 4 groups: control, music only, progressive muscle relaxation only, and music combined with progressive muscle relaxation and were tested twice a week for a duration of 2 weeks. A pre and posttest measuring anxiety and fatigue was administered each session. Quality of life was measured only on the first and last session. Results of three-way mixed design ANOVA indicated no significant main effect for group. However, results revealed a significant main effect for pretest and posttest on anxiety F(1, 28) = 51.82, p < .01 and fatigue, F(1, 28) = 32.86, p < .01. Significant difference on time effect were found for both anxiety F(3, 84) = 3.53, p < .05 and fatigue F(3, 84) = 5.21, p < .01. Follow-up paired t tests used for posthoc testing were conducted to compare pre and posttest difference scores for each group separately. Statistical results indicated a significant difference in quality of life when comparing the subject sample as a whole across the four days of treatment period, F(1, 28) = 14.21, p < .01. Follow-up paired sample t test indicated that the control and PMR group exhibited a significant difference in pre and posttest quality of life scores. There was a significant correlation between anxiety and quality of life (r(32) = .75, p < .01), anxiety and fatigue (r(32) = .55, p < .01), and fatigue and quality of life (r(32) = -.53, p < .01).