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Music as a Therapy to Alleviate Anxiety During Inpatient Rehabilitation for Stroke

Le Danseur, Maureen, MSN, CNS, ACNS-BC, CRRN, CCM1; Crow, April D., RN, BSN1; Stutzman, Sonja E., PhD1; Villarreal, Marcos D., MPH2; Olson, DaiWai M., PhD, RN, CCRN1

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000102

Purpose The aim of the study was to determine if listening to music may reduce anxiety experienced by stroke patients during acute rehabilitation.

Design A prospective, nonblinded, randomized study in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.

Methods Fifty participants were randomized into two groups: (1) 1 hour of music (intervention) or (2) no music (control). All participants completed pretest anxiety and depression screening and 44 completed the posttest anxiety screening. Differences between groups were determined using chi-square and t tests.

Findings After listening to music for 1 hour, participants who completed the posttest (n = 44) reported significantly less anxiety (p < .0001) compared to before the intervention. The control group showed no difference in their pre- and posttest anxiety scores (p = .84). No differences were determined among age, gender, or diagnostic groups.

Conclusions These findings demonstrate that music intervention may help lessen anxiety in rehabilitation patients poststroke.

Clinical Relevance Offering musical intervention to stroke patients in rehabilitation may lessen symptoms of anxiety.

1University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

2University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA.

Correspondence: DaiWai M. Olson, Neuroscience Nursing Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. E-mail:

Accepted April 25, 2017

Cite this article as: Le Danseur M., Crow A. D., Stutzman S. E., Villarreal M. D., & Olson D. M. (2019). Music as a therapy to alleviate anxiety during inpatient rehabilitation for stroke. Rehabilitation Nursing, 44(1), 29–34. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000102

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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