Aims and objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a music intervention on hospitalised psychiatric patients with different levels of anxiety. Background: In clinical practice, psychiatric inpatients and nurses routinely suffer from anxiety. A music intervention may possibly be useful, but knowledge as to how useful and how effective it is in patients with different levels of anxiety is limited. Design: The study design was a three-group, repeated-measures experimental study. Methods: Subjects were 22 psychiatric patients who were divided into three groups based on their level of anxiety. They listened to 20 minutes of music each day for 10 days and were assessed using the Beck Anxiety Inventory before and after the music intervention and at a one-week follow-up; an electroencephalogram and finger temperature were monitored before and during the music intervention. Results: Anxiety levels of all three groups showed a significant difference (p = 0·0339) after the intervention. The difference alpha and beta electroencephalogram percentages for all three groups showed a significant difference (p = 0·04; p = 0·01). The finger temperature showed a non-significant difference (p = 0·41). Conclusions: A music intervention can effectively alleviate the anxiety of hospitalised psychiatric patients who suffer from all levels of anxiety. Relevance to clinical practice: The study recommends a practice in alleviating anxiety. Effective lower-cost interventions to reduce anxiety in psychiatric inpatient settings would be of interest to nurses and benefit patients.
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