News: Music helps to ease stress in critically ill patients, study

For patients who are critically ill, relying on mechanical support to breathe can’understandably’lead to high levels of discomfort and anxiety.

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For patients who are critically ill, relying on mechanical support to breathe can’understandably’lead to high levels of discomfort and anxiety. But a new study published online suggests that playing music for ventilated patients may help to ease their stress, reports the CBC.

The study, published Wednesday in Cochrane Reviews, analyzed results from eight trials involving a total of 213 patients who suffered from conditions including lung disease and heart disease. While their health issues varied, one common thread is that they were all receiving mechanical breathing support. When music was played for these patients, researchers noted improvements in their heart rate and respiratory rate, as well as their overall stress. No impact on blood pressure was observed.

While researchers caution that more testing is necessary due to the small sample size in the current study, they are positive about the potential impact for music therapy on critically ill patients. ‘It is exciting that music may provide a way to reduce anxiety in these patients without costly side effects,’ said Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions associate professor Dr. Joke Bradt, in a news release.

Do you listen to music when you’re feeling stressed? What’s your go-to song to soothe your nerves?

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