Can music soothe a health sciences student?

Up a treeCan music soothe a health sciences student?  How effective is music in reducing stress?

PubMed search identified a number of relevant articles which examined this question using different populations (ex. metastatic breast cancer patients) and in different settings (ex. general anesthesia); this search also identified several meta analyses and review articles which addressed this question:

  • Bradt, J., & Dileo, C. (2009). Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2):CD006577. doi(2), CD006577. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006577.pub2; 10.1002/14651858.CD006577.pub2.  This meta analysis found that “music listening has a moderate effect on anxiety in patients with CHD” and that music reduced heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.  The authors noted that the results were inconsistent across the studies evaluated but also that there was “strong evidence for reduction of psychological distress.”  This article expanded on the research findings to make recommendations for clinical practice including conducting individual music therapies sessions, if possible; music therapy is more effective for musicians than non-musicians; and, that participants under eighteen years receive the greatest benefit from music therapy.
  • Pelletier, C. L. (2004). The effect of music on decreasing arousal due to stress: A meta-analysis. Journal of Music Therapy, 41(3), 192-214.  This meta-analysis reviewed twenty two quantitative studies on the use of music to decrease arousal due to stress; their results showed that both music alone and music-assisted relaxation significantly decreased stress arousal.
  • Scheve, A. M. (2004). Music therapy, wellness, and stress reduction. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 546, 253-263.  This article – available in the library’s local print collection – provides an interesting overview of music therapy including its use in different patient populations and with different endpoints in mind.

Learn more about stress reduction strategies and events from Healthy Living @ Himmelfarb:

GW Jazz Guitar Ensemble
Thursday November 14, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Himmelfarb Library 1st Floor

Seating is limited so come early.

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