Author(s): Aragon D, Farris C, Byers JF
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Abstract CONTEXT: Music has been used in the acute clinical care setting as an adjunct to current treatment modalities. Previous studies have indicated that some types of music may benefit patients by reducing pain and anxiety, and may have an effect on physiological measures. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the scientific foundation for the implementation of a complementary therapy, harp playing. The research questions for this pilot study were: Does live harp playing have an effect on patient perception of anxiety, pain, and satisfaction? Does live harp playing produce statistically and clinically significant differences in physiological measures of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation? DESIGN: A prospective, quasiexperimental, repeated measures design was used with a convenience sampling. SETTING: Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Fla. PATIENTS: Subjects wer eligible for the study if they were postoperative and admitted to a hard-wired-bedside-monitored room of the Vascular Thoracic Unit within the 3 days of the study period. INTERVENTION: A singl e20-minute live harp playing session. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Visual analog scales (VAS) were used to measure patient anxiety and pain. Patient satisfaction was measured with a 4-item questionnaire. Physiological measures (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were recorded from the bedside monitor. METHODS: Visual analog scales (VAS) were completed just before harp playing, 20 minutes after harp playing was started, and 10 minutes after completion. Patient satisfaction with the experience was measured with a 4-item questionnaire. Physiological measures (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation) were recorded from the bedside monitor at baseline (5 minutes before study setup), at zero, 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes after harp playing began, and at 5 and 10 minutes after harp playing stopped. RESULTS: Seventeen patients were used in this study, with a retrospective power of .91. Results indicate that listening to live harp music has a positive effect on patient perception of anxiety (P=.000), pain (P=.000) and satisfaction. Live harp playing also produced statistically significant differences in physiological measures of systolic blood pressure (P=.046), and oxygen saturation (P=.011). Although all values over time trended downward, the changes of other variables were not adequate to achieve statistical or clinical significance. CONCLUSION: Subjects in this study experienced decreased pain and anxiety with the harp intervention, and slight reductions in physiologic variable values. It is not possible in this study to determine if the results were due to the harp music, the presence of the harpist and data collector, or both. Future research is recommended using a control group and comparison of live versus recorded harp music with a wider variety of diagnoses and procedures.
This article was published in Altern Ther Health Med
and referenced in Journal of Biomusical Engineering