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Music Listening as a Nursing Intervention: A Symphony of Practice

McCaffrey, Ruth ARNP, ND; Locsin, Rozzano C. RN C, PhD


This article presents the use of music listening as an effective, noninvasive intervention designed to assist nurses in creating a healing environment to promote health and well-being. Music has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing pain, decreasing anxiety, and increasing relaxation. In addition, music has been used as a process to distract persons from unpleasant sensations and empower them with the ability to heal from within. As nurses develop practice patterns that are evidence based, the use of music listening could become an integral nursing intervention. To develop a guide for using music listening as a nursing intervention, six principles of practice are identified: intent, authentic presence, wholeness, preference, entrainment, and situating the client.

Assistant Professor (McCaffrey)

Associate Professor, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida (Locsin)

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