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The Effects of Music Intervention in the Management of Chronic Pain: A Single-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial

Guétin, Stéphane PhD*,†; Giniès, Patrick MD, PhD; Siou, Didier Kong A. MD, PhD; Picot, Marie-Christine MD, PhD§; Pommié, Christelle MSc§; Guldner, Elisabeth RN; Gosp, Anne-Marie RN; Ostyn, Katelyne BSc; Coudeyre, Emmanuel MD, PhD; Touchon, Jacques MD, PhD*

The Clinical Journal oF Pain: May 2012 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 329–337
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31822be973
Original Articles

Objective: A music intervention method in the management of pain was recently developed while taking account of recommendations in the scientific literature. The objective of this study was to assess the usefulness of this music intervention to the management of patients with chronic pain.

Methods: A controlled, single-blind, randomized trial was used. Eighty-seven patients presenting with lumbar pain, fibromyalgia, inflammatory disease, or neurological disease were included in the study. During their hospitalization, the intervention arm (n=44) received at least 2 daily sessions of music listening between D0 and D10, associated with their standard treatment, and then pursued the music intervention at home until D60 using a multimedia player in which the music listening software program had been installed. The control arm received standard treatment only (n=43). The end points measured at D0, D10, D60, and D90 were: pain (VAS), anxiety-depression (HAD) and the consumption of medication.

Results: At D60 in the music intervention arm, this technique enabled a more significant reduction (P<0.001) in pain (6.3±1.7 at D0 vs. 3±1.7 at D60) when compared with the arm without music intervention (6.2±1.5 at D0 vs. 4.6±1.7 at D60). In addition, music intervention contributed to significantly reducing both anxiety/depression and the consumption of anxiolytic agents.

Discussion: These results confirm the value of music intervention to the management of chronic pain and anxiety/depression. This music intervention method appears to be useful in managing chronic pain as it enables a significant reduction in the consumption of medication.

*Service de Neurologie, Centre Mémoire de Ressources et de Recherches, INSERMU 888

Centre d’Evaluation et de Traitement de la Douleur

§Département d’Information Médicale (DIM), CHRU Montpellier

Laboratoire de Psychologie Clinique et Psychopathologie (LPCP) EA 4056, Université Paris-Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cite´, Paris

CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Service de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, Clermont-Ferrand, France

This work was made possible thanks to support and funding from the Fondation CNP Assurances. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Stéphane Guétin, PhD, 9 rue Léon Cogniet, 75017 Paris, France (e-mail:

Received February 8, 2011

Accepted June 30, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.