The Use of Music in the Chronic Pain Experience: An Investigation into the Use of Music and Music therapy by Patients and Staff at a Hospital Outpatient Pain Clinic
This study uses mixed methodology research to examine the use of music in the chronic pain experience. One hundred and seven adult patients attending an outpatient pain clinic at a general hospital completed a patient survey. 91% rated music as somewhat important to them, 69% benefit from music listening and 43% changed their use of music due to chronic pain. 56% of respondents had an interest in availing of music therapy as part of their treatment. Three themes found in the qualitative results (music for relaxation, positive response to music and music for coping) corresponded with the highly rated reasons for listening to music in the quantitative survey (enjoyment, relaxation and tension relief). Music listening was more common than active participation in music.
Seven staff members completed surveys on their use of music and thoughts on music therapy in this setting. Staff rated music as very beneficial for people with chronic pain and 100% saw a role for music therapy in the treatment of patients with chronic pain.
This study is one of few to map how people with chronic pain use music to self-care and to explore the role of music therapy in a hospital out-patient pain department. It offers potential for music therapy to be offered as a non-pharmacological intervention to assist people in developing music-based resources and strategies for managing chronic pain. Further investigation is recommended.
Aldrich S, Eccleston C, Crombez G. Worrying about chronic pain: vigilance to threat and misdirected problem solving. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2000;38:457–470.
Larsen DK, Taylor S, Asmundson GG. Exploratory factor analysis of the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale in patients with chronic pain complaints. Pain. 1997;69:27–34.
Fullen B, Hurley, Power C, Canavan, O’Keeffe S. The need for a national strategy for chronic pain management in Ireland. Irish Journal of Medical Science. 2006;175(2):68-73. doi: 10.1007/BF03167954.
History of Chronic Pain Ireland. Chronic Pain Ireland web site. Available from:
http://www.chronicpain.ie/about-us/history. Accessed 2nd January, 2018.
Garza-Villarreal E. Music-induced analgesia: The neurobiology of the analgesic effects of music in acute and chronic pain. In: Hashefi E, ed. Music therapy in the management of medical conditions. New York, NY: Nova Science; 2016:35 – 61.
Allen JL. Pain management with adults. In: Guidelines for music therapy practice in adult medical care. Gilsum, USA: Barcelona Publishers; 2013.
Bernatzky B, Presch M, Anderson M, Panksepp J. Emotional foundations of music as a non-pharmacological pain management tool in modern medicine. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 2011;35(9):89-1999. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.06.005
Siedliecki SL, Good M. Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2006;54:5:553-562. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03860.x
What is chronic pain? Chronic Pain Ireland website. Available from http://www.chronicpain.ie/getting-help/what-is-chronic-pain. Accessed 12th December, 2017.
Clark I, Tamplin J. How music can influence the body: Perspectives from current research. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. 2016;16(2). doi:10.15845/voices.v16i2.871
Lee JH. The effects of music on pain: A meta-analysis. Journal of Music Therapy. 2016; 53(4):430-477. http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.ul.ie/10.1093/jmt/thw012
Gold A, Clare A. An exploration of music listening in chronic pain. Psychology of Music. 2012;41(5):545-564. doi:10.1177/0305735612440613
Hopper MJ, Curtis S, Hodge S, Simm RA. A qualitative study exploring the effects of attending a community pain service choir on wellbeing in people who experience chronic pain. British Journal of Pain. 2016;10(3):124-134. doi:10.1177/2049463716638368
Mitchell LA, Macdonald RAR, Knussen C, Serpell MG. A survey investigation of the effects of music listening on chronic pain. Psychology of Music. 2007;35(1):37-57. doi: 10.1177/0305735607068887
Creswell J, Plano Clark VL. Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd Ed.). London, UK: Sage Publications. (2011).
Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 2006;3(2):77-101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Koenig J, Warth M, Oelkers-Ax R, et al. I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me: An integrative review of a decade of research in the development of active music therapy outpatient treatment in patients with recurrent or chronic pain. Music and Medicine. 2013; 5(3):150-161. doi: 10.1177/1943862113490739
Morin CM, Gibson D, Wade J. Self-reported sleep and mood disturbance in chronic pain patients. The Clinical Journal of Pain. 1998;14(4):311-314. https://doi.org/10.1097%2F00002508-199812000-00007
Aalbers S, Fusar-Poli L, Freeman RE, et al. Music therapy for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;11:1-80. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004517.pub3.
Bradt J, Norris M, Shim M, et al. Vocal music therapy for chronic pain management in inner-city African Americans: A mixed methods feasibility study. Journal of Music Therapy. 2016;53(2):178–208. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/thw004
Öhman M,,Söderberg S, Lundman B. Hovering Between Suffering and Enduring: The meaning of living with serious chronic illness. Qualitative Health Research. 2003;13(4)528-542. doi: 10.1177/1049732302250720
Rolvsjord R. Resource-oriented music therapy in mental health care. Gilsum, USA: Barcelona; 2010.