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J Crit Care. 2016 Oct;35:195-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.05.021. Epub 2016 May 28.

Music therapy, a review of the potential therapeutic benefits for the critically ill.

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Service de Réanimation, Centre Hospitalier Général, 13300 Salon de Provence, France.


Intensive care units are a stressful milieu for patients, particularly when under mechanical ventilation which they refer to as inhumane and anxiety producing. Anxiety can impose harmful effects on the course of recovery and overall well-being of the patient. Resulting adverse effects may prolong weaning and recovery time. Music listening, widely used for stress release in all areas of medicine, tends to be a reliable and efficacious treatment for those critically ill patients. It can abate the stress response, decrease anxiety during mechanical ventilation, and induce an overall relaxation response without the use of medication. This relaxation response can lower cardiac workload and oxygen consumption resulting in more effective ventilation. Music may also improve sleep quality and reduce patient's pain with a subsequent decrease in sedative exposure leading to an accelerated ventilator weaning process and a speedier recovery.


Anxiety; Critical care; Mechanical ventilation; Music therapy; Pain

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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