Art, Music, Dance

Music to reduce anxiety during transport

 Transporting patients between healthcare facilities may be stressful. Researchers from New York Medical College, in Valhalla studied whether playing music during critical care transport reduces patient anxiety.

First, the details.

  • Music was played for 102 adult patients during critical care transport while recording vital signs.
  • A survey on the experience was then mailed to patients.
  • Vital signs were compared between respondents who perceived transport as stressful and those who did not.

And, the results.

  • 23 patients responded to the survey.
    • 19 (83%) rated transport as not stressful.
    • 4 (18%) reported transport was stressful.
  • Subjectively, patients reported a positive impact of music on transport, with improved comfort and relaxation but only a minimal decrease in anxiety.
  • No statistically significant change in vital signs was observed between cohorts.
  • Too few patients were enrolled to permit statistical testing.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Music therapy is a simple adjunct for use during critical care transport that may increase patient comfort and alleviate anxiety.”

It’s a small study, but probably worth repeating in a larger group.

Come to think of it, considering the violence reported on school buses nowadays, maybe music should be studied there as well.

3/11/09 18:12 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.