Using Music Interventions in Perioperative Care

Lori Gooding, PhD, MT-BC; Shane Swezey, BM, MT-BC; Joseph B. Zwischenberger, MD


South Med J. 2012;105(9):486-490. 

In This Article

Research Considerations

The use of music in medical treatment has been widely researched, and the data provide information on both positive outcomes and effective clinical implementation strategies. As Robb et al[33] point out, however, there is a need to improve transparency and specificity in music medicine and music therapy research. In fact, these authors state that many studies lack the necessary data to facilitate cross-study comparisons, generalization, and integration into practice.[33] Although data on the use of music is largely promising, the inconsistencies found in the research literature limit generalizability, potentially affecting the widespread use of music interventions.

To promote more effective research and reporting, Robb and coworkers[33] developed reporting guidelines based on systematic reviews of music-based intervention reporting and behavioral intervention reporting. The following nine criteria were established:

  1. Intervention theory—music selection rationale and expected effects

  2. Intervention content—detailed music intervention information, including who selected the music, information on the music itself, and delivery method

  3. Intervention materials

  4. Intervention strategies—description of music-based intervention strategies

  5. Intervention delivery schedule

  6. Interventionist—specify qualifications/credentials of interventionist

  7. Treatment fidelity—methods to ensure consistent protocol delivery

  8. Setting

  9. Unit of delivery—group, individual, etc.

By providing the information outlined by Robb and colleagues, researchers can increase the effectiveness of research on music in the medical arena and encourage integration into clinical practice. It is recommended that future research incorporate the above guidelines to strengthen research in this area.