Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Music 'soothes ventilator patients'

  • 2 Comments

Hospital patients on ventilators can breathe more easily if music is played to them, and the technique could even be more effective than drugs at calming patients on forced ventilation, according to a study.

Researchers at the Cochrane Library said they conducted tests on around 200 people in intensive care and showed that the music helped get rid of anxiety, as well as helping to slow the rate of breathing.

The study could not determine whether the type of music played made any difference; the researchers used easy listening and classical music in the study.

Certain genres of music may be more effective for particular patients. Since music can evoke intensive emotions, selecting the wrong type may agitate the patient and cause them more stress.

Lead researcher Joke Bradt of Drexel University in Philadelphia, US, said: “We recommend that medical personnel providing music to patients consult with a music therapist to understand what type of music may be best for a particular patient.”

In one of the trials a trained music therapist played live music with a tempo synchronised to the patient’s breathing, although pre-recorded music also worked.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Latterlife Midwife

    Thank you for providing the link to the study! Please continue to do so in your articles.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We did this back in the mid 70's when I was doing an ITU course at a London teaching hospital.

    The music did "soothe" patients, providing it was not too loud or "pop" in nature.

    We found gentle instrumentals to be the most widely acceptable.

    Two things post ventilated patients always remembered...tracheal suction and the music.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.