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South Med J. 2005 Mar;98(3):282-8.

Music as therapy.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology and Oncology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., WinstonSalem, NC 27157, USA. rfoley@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

Music is widely used to enhance well-being, reduce stress, and distract patients from unpleasant symptoms. Although there are wide variations in individual preferences, music appears to exert direct physiologic effects through the autonomic nervous system. It also has indirect effects by modifying caregiver behavior. Music effectively reduces anxiety and improves mood for medical and surgical patients, for patients in intensive care units and patients undergoing procedures, and for children as well as adults. Music is a low-cost intervention that often reduces surgical, procedural, acute, and chronic pain. Music also improves the quality of life for patients receiving palliative care, enhancing a sense of comfort and relaxation. Providing music to caregivers may be a cost-effective and enjoyable strategy to improve empathy, compassion, and relationship-centered care while not increasing errors or interfering with technical aspects of care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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