Researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada report, that “music is effective in reducing anxiety and pain in children undergoing medical and dental procedures.”

First, the details.

  • After reviewing the medical literature, 19 studies (in 1513 patients) were worth further evaluation.
  • Children aged 1 month to 18 years were studied
  • Music was used to alter pain or anxiety.
  • Music therapy was considered active if a music therapist was involved and music was used as a medium for interactive communication.
  • Passive music therapy was defined as listening to music without the involvement of a music therapist.

And, the results.

  • The studies were generally of poor quality.
  • However, overall, music therapy reportedly showed a significant reduction in pain and anxiety.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Music can be considered an adjunctive therapy in clinical situations that produce pain or anxiety.”

Other positive reports on the value of music therapy are summarized here, and elsewhere on the blog.

3/22/08 19:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.