The effects of music assisted relaxation on preoperative anxiety

Sheri L. Robb, Ray J. Nichols, Randi L. Rutan, Bonnie L. Bishop, Jayne C. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to determine: (a) if there was a significant decrease in physiological indicators of stress following Music Assisted Relaxation (MAR) interventions; (b) if there was a significant decrease in anxiety scores, as measured by the state portion of the State-Trait Anxiety Index for Children (STAIC), following MAR; and (c) to compile and analyze comments of patients and staff in response to interventions. Twenty pediatric burn patients, ranging in age from 8 to 20 years, participated in the study. All subjects were surgical patients on the reconstructive unit of a pediatric burns hospital. Owing the preoperative period, subjects in the experimental group received MAR interventions that included music listening, deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery. Subjects in the control group received standard preoperative interventions. Results indicated a significant decrease in anxiety scores for the experimental group. The control group showed no significant change in anxiety. No significant change in physiologic measures was indicated for either group. Responses to the subject questionnaire were consistent with STAIC results with all subjects responding positively to interventions. The staff questionnaire revealed support for interventions and ideas for improved interventions. suggest that music has both broad effects on imagery that vary with the musical selection and differential effects that are more consistent between selections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-21
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Music

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