Feifei Xue*;Regina Landis, BA and Scott Wright, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev.

Abstract number: 66

Categories: Other, Research Abstracts

Keywords: ,

Background: For most people, music serves as a calming influence or as a pleasurable stimulus that lifts their spirits. Hospitalized patients may experience boredom, fear, and unease while in the hospital, away from the comforts of home during their acute illness. In an attempt to both distract and cheer up hospitalized patients, we designed a brief intervention that would bring the gift of music to their hospital room. A priori, we hypothesized that such an intervention might serve to enhance their mood and minimize their awareness of pain.

Methods: The pilot study included an intervention that was delivered to 151 hospitalized adult patients (age >18) that were admitted to on one of the general medicine wards at a large academic hospital in Baltimore.  After consenting to participate, the patients were asked a series of questions which included the modified HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), a validated pain scale (that uses response options along a 10-point Likert-scale), and assessments of their appreciation of music. Following this data collection, subjects selected 1 or 2 songs of their choice to enjoy, played from an internet-based library containing virtually all songs. Patients listened to their favorite song(s) with noise-cancelling headphones uninterrupted for the length of the track. Mood and pain were reassessed immediately after listening to this music session. Paired t-tests were used to assess for differences in both the HADS and pain score.  

Results: A majority of the patients studied were female (n=86, 57%), and their mean age was 57 years. Two thirds of patients were Caucasian (64%), and 51 patients were African American. Ninety percent of patients reported listen to music in their free time, and 89% of patients explained that they enjoy listening to music when they are alone. The patients’ modified HADS score (-4.99, standard error [SE] = 0.45, p <0.0001) and pain score (-0.72, SE = 1.51, p<0.0001) were both significantly decreased after listening to a couple of their favorite songs. The 2 most frequently requested songs were “Sangria” by Blake Shelton, and “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. The genre of music that were selected with the greatest frequency were Rock (n=28) and Country (n=28). All patients (100%) enjoyed the music session.  Spontaneous comments were recorded from patients and 2 representative quotes are shown here: “You truly made my day. I love that song and haven’t heard it in so long”, and “That was such nice treat. You should have been here the day when I was really sick; I could have used some music then.”

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that bringing music to hospitalized patients and encouraging them to listen to their favorite song is genuinely appreciated. If this intervention can enhance moods and reduce pain for patients in the hospital, directing resources to make it sustainable may be justified.

To cite this abstract:

Xue, F; Landis, R; Wright, S . MUSIC TO MY EARS: BRIGHTENING THE DAY OF HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 66. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2017; 12 (suppl 2). Accessed March 30, 2020.

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