Music shown to reduce anxiety in ICU patients as well or better than meds

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Throughout time, parents and children have seldom agreed on musical taste.Even Elvis faced criticism from moms and dad who forbade their kids from listening to him.Heavy metal music has been maligned by adults who say it causes anger in kids.But studies have shown that listening to music you like can lower blood pressure.In one study, heavy metal listeners lowered their heart rate 18%, and 89% experienced a drop in blood pressure

Study suggests nurses add music to their care routines

William Congreve wrote, “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast.” It apparently can also calm an anxious patient, according to a meta-analysis from Bursa Uludag University in Turkey.

Öznur Erbay Dalli, RN, MSc, PhD, and his colleagues analyzed data from 25 studies and found music significantly reduced anxiety scores in intensive care patients, even when compared to medications. The researchers also found music’s effect on patients was greater after multiple sessions.

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The team pointed out that for centuries music has been a “‘proven non-pharmacological tool’ used to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain and to increase patient comfort.”

Although music had no effect on diastolic blood pressure, or respiration or heart rates, Dalli told MedPage Today that ICU nurses could add music to their care routines to reduce anxiety in their patients.

Why is this good news? Using music instead of medication potentially could avoid side effects from antipsychotics, analgesics or sedatives, Dalli said.

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For their research, the team analyzed data of 1,751 participants who had a mean age of 59. More than half — 57% — were men.

All of the 25 studies the team analyzed were randomized controlled trials. They were conducted in nine countries, including the United States. Dalli’s team’s findings were published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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