Using heart rate variability analysis to assess the effect of music therapy on anxiety reduction of patients

Hung Wen Chiu, L. S. Lin, M. C. Kuo, H. S. Chiang, Chung-Yi Hsu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Citations (Scopus)


Music therapy has been considered to reduce the anxiety of patients, but the mechanism of music therapy remains to be investigated. Psychophysiological researchers have revealed that the autonomic activities relate to the anxiety. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis has been used to assess the autonomic activities hence it may be a useful tool for evaluate the effects of music therapy on anxiety reduction of patients. In this study, we attempted using HRV analysis to display the effect of music therapy on autonomic balance. 68 patients attending extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) were included, among them 34 patients (music therapy group) were randomly selected to undergo a music therapy (listening to a natural music) to reduce their anxiety for upcoming operation, the rest patients were be the control group. The short-term (5 minutes) HRV parameters of all patients before and undergoing music therapy were computed. The results revealed that the standard deviation of RR intervals (SDRR) and high frequency spectral power (HF power) of HRV significantly increased in the music therapy group while they did not change in the control group. Since SDRR and HF power of HRV are considered as markers for vagal activities music therapy seems to increase the vagal activity of patients. This study demonstrated that listening to the music has the influences on autonomic control. Using HRV analysis can help evaluating the effects of music therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputers in Cardiology
EditorsA. Murray
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventComputers in Cardiology 2003 - Thessaloniki Chalkidiki, Greece
Duration: Sep 21 2003Sep 24 2003


OtherComputers in Cardiology 2003
CityThessaloniki Chalkidiki

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Software


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