The Role of Music to Promote Relaxation in Intensive Care Unit Patients
BACKGROUND: The intensive care unit (ICU) is one of the most stressful environments for patients among various clinical settings in a hospital. ICU patients are not only compromised by illness but also faced with a wide range of stressors. Most of the time, pharmacological therapies are commonly used to control the distress, but are expensive and lead to high hospital care costs. It is thought that music can act as a nursing intervention to relieve both physiological and psychological responses and increase comfort of patients.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to identify, review and evaluate the literature regarding the role of music listening to promote relaxation for patients in the ICU together with considerations for future research.
METHODS: MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, AMED and PsycINFO databases were searched for the terms “music therapy”, “music medicine” and “music listening”. In addition, an internet search using Google Scholar was performed.
RESULTS: Literature research shows that music can influence a wide range of physiological and psychological effects and is effective in decreasing stress and facilitating relaxation responses. Different types of music and music preference of the individual patient may have a different effect. Moreover, live music is considered more important than pre-recorded music.CONCLUSION: Music therapy has been widely used in a variety of cultures for centuries to decrease patients’ perception of pain, anxiety and depression, and boost their feelings of relaxation. Music can be used as a safe and inexpensive non-pharmacologic antianxiety intervention to enhance relaxation and decrease stress in ICU patients. The key implication is to educate doctors and nurses on modern aspects of music therapy.
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).