The effect of music therapy on hospitalized psychiatric patients' anxiety, finger temperature, and electroencephalography: A randomized clinical trial

Chyn-Yng Yang, Chiung Hua Chen, Hsin Chu, Wen Chun Chen, Tso Ying Lee, Shyi Gen Chen, Kuei-Ru Chou

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of music therapy in reducing anxiety in hospitalized psychiatric patients. Methodology: The authors used a randomized clinical trial design and randomly allocated the 24 enrolled participants to the experimental or the control group. Patients in the experimental group received music therapy in a therapy room at a set time for 30 min each morning for 11 days. The authors administered the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and measured skin temperature and brain waves to determine anxiety level before, during, and after music therapy. Results: Experimental group participants had lower scores on the BAI than control participants, after the music therapy (z = -2.0, p <.05) and at 1-week follow-up (z = -2.2, p <.05), indicating that they were experiencing significantly less anxiety. The mean BAI anxiety score fell in the experimental group from 23.9 (SD = 9.9) at baseline to 13.9 (SD = 8.8), after music therapy, and 12.7. (SD = 10.5) at follow-up. The experimental group demonstrated a significant elevation in the average alpha electroencephalographic (EEG) percentage (from 38.1% to 46.7%) and a reduction in the average beta EEG percentage (from 61.9% to 53.4%) after the music therapy. After adjusting for change in patient finger temperature on the first day, mean change in finger temperature did not differ significantly between the experimental and control groups. Conclusions: Music therapy can relieve anxiety in hospitalized psychiatric patients and help them achieve a state of relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Research for Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012



  • anxiety
  • electroencephalography
  • finger temperature
  • music therapy
  • psychiatric patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory

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