Environmental Music Therapy (EMT) to reduce stress and anxiety with patients, caregivers, and hospital staff during the COVID pandemic


  • Michael Zanders Temple University
  • Meng-Shan Lee
  • Jingwen Zhang
  • Jennifer Gravish
  • Andrea Giraldo
  • Juan P. Zambonini




Keywords: Environmental music therapy, Covid 19, stress, anxiety


During the pandemic, there has been a heightened sense of anxiety, stress, and emotional dissonance for all those who are in the hospital environment. The purpose of this research was to study stress and anxiety and environmental stress theory by testing the effects of Environmental Music Therapy (EMT) versus no music on patients, visitors, caregivers, and hospital and medical staff. The study was a quasi-experimental, pretest and posttest design. Participants in the study were not randomized into groups. There were two experimental sessions and two control sessions over four different days (alternating weeks). The experimental sessions included live music with board certified music therapists providing the music within the hospital lobby. The two control sessions had no live music and just the typical sounds of the hospital lobby. The results show there was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups on stress and anxiety. These data support EMT as an effective intervention to modulate the soundscape of the hospital milieu, thus lessening stress and anxiety for those within the hospital environment. The results have implications for future research, practice, and clinical education and training.





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