Music in Managing Pain

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP


June 13, 2013

In This Article

Music Therapy Reduces Pain in Palliative Care Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Gutgsell KJ, Schluchter M, Margevicius S, et al
J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013;45:822-831

Music Therapy

Management of pain is an important element of palliative care. However, patients also express a desire to be lucid and experience good quality of life during this time, goals that may be negatively affected by the sedation, nausea, and other adverse effects that accompany treatment with opioids and other pain medications.

Music therapy offers a low-risk, nonpharmacologic, low-cost adjunct to pharmacotherapy. Previous research, much of it qualitative, examining the efficacy of this intervention in patients with a range of diagnoses has yielded variable results. The purpose of the study by Gutgsell and colleagues was to examine the efficacy of a single music therapy intervention in reducing pain in a sample of palliative care patients.


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