The Effects of Music on Pain: A Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis
|The purpose of this study was twofold: to critically review existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the topic of music and pain; and to systematically review and conduct a meta-analysis of clinical trials investigating the effect of music on pain encompassing a wide range of medical diagnoses, settings, age groups, and types of pain. For the review of systematic reviews, the author conducted a comprehensive search and identified 14 systematic reviews and meta-analyses. These studies were critically analyzed to present a comprehensive overview of findings, to evaluate methodological quality of the reviews, to determine issues or gaps in the literature, and to generate research questions for the following meta-analysis. For the meta-analysis, the author conducted electronic searches of 12 databases and a handsearch of related journals and reference lists of relevant systematic reviews, with partial restrictions on design (i.e., randomized controlled trials); language (i.e., English, German, Korean, and Japanese); year of publication (i.e., 1995 to 2014) and intervention (i.e., music therapy and music medicine). Analyzed studies included 87 music medicine (MM) and 10 music therapy (MT) trials; eighty-nine of the included studies involved adults and eight trials focused on children. In terms of the types of pain, there were 51 trials on acute, 34 on procedural, and 12 on cancer or chronic pain; the trials were conducted in over 20 different medical specialty areas. For the assessment of study quality, I used the risk of bias tool developed by the Cochrane collaboration, and pooled data from the included studies were analyzed using the Revman 5.3 software according to the effects of music on levels of pain intensity, amount of analgesic use, and changes in vital signs. The results indicated that music interventions resulted in a significant reduction of 1.13 units on 0-10 scales and a small to moderate pain reducing effect on other scales (SMD = -0.39). Participants in the music group experienced a significantly lower level of emotional distress from pain (MD = -10.8), and required significantly fewer anesthetics (SMD = -0.56), opioids (SMD = -0.24), and non-opioid medications (SMD = -0.54). Moreover, the music group showed statistically significant decreases in heart rate of 4.25 bpm, systolic blood pressure of 3.34 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure of 1.18 mmHg, and respiration rate of 1.46 breaths per minute. Findings from several analyses of moderator variables suggest: MT has a stronger effect in reducing self-rated pain intensity than MM; MT is more effective in reducing chronic/cancer pain than other types of pain, but MM seems to be more effective in managing procedural pain; children benefit more from music interventions than do adults, and more from MT than MM; providing different levels of choices in the selection of music yields different outcomes for MM; having a rationale for selection of music greatly improves the treatment outcome for MM; and an active MT approach is more effective in relieving perceived levels of pain than a passive MT approach. The results from the current meta-analysis demonstrate that music interventions may have beneficial effects on pain, emotional distress from pain, use of anesthetics and pain killers, and vital signs including heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and respiration rate. However, these results need to be interpreted with caution due to highly heterogeneous outcomes among the included studies. Considering all the possible benefits, music interventions may provide an effective complimentary approach for the relief of acute, procedural and cancer/chronic pain in the medical setting.
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|The Effects of Music on Pain: A Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis
|DuCette, Joseph P.
|Confredo, Deborah A.
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