Quarterly scientific journal

The effect of music therapy on stress levels in intubated patients in intensive care units: A systematic review

Maria Kikiza , Antonia Kalogianni , NIkoletta Rovina , Georgia Toylia



Introduction: In recent decades there has been a growing interest in the impact of music on stress management in patients with mechanical respiratory support in Intensive Care Units. The need to find new alternative methods of intervention, less expensive and harmful, makes music therapy the most appropriate proposal.

Purpose: The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effect of music therapy in reducing the manifestations of anxiety in intubated patients in the ICU.

Methodos: Randomized clinical trials were sought on the effect of music on the stress levels of mechanically ventilated adult patients in the ICU. Stress was assessed by recording normal parameters (heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, O2 saturation) and by stress scales. Data retrieval and collection was performed via the Medline and Cochrane Database digital databases. Included studies were in English, during the period 2000-2020.

Results: A total of four randomized clinical trials (306 subjects) were included. The main findings of all four studies were the reduction of heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure in the intervention group. At the same time, patients experienced periods of calm and relaxation behaviors. No research has shown any negative effects from the use of music.

Conclusions: The results of the studies document the short-term positive effect of music on the stress of mechanically ventilated patients in ICUs. At the same time, they are alerting the scientific community to conduct more research that will certify the long-term positive effect of music on the stress of intubated patients.

Keywords: Music, anxiety, mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit

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