The Effects of Two Music Therapy Interventions on the Perceived Pain Levels of Elderly Nursing Home Residents with Arthritis

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Bolton, Stephanie
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two music therapy interventions on the perceived pain levels of nursing home residents diagnosed with arthritis. Twenty-four participants were randomly assigned to one of three study groups: a) live guitar music paired with music facilitated relaxation, b) prerecorded guitar music paired with music facilitated relaxation, or ¢) no music. Participants were seen individually for a total of four sessions over a period of two weeks. Participants in both music groups received twenty minutes of either live or prerecorded music paired with music facilitated relaxation. Participants in the no music group received brief verbal relaxation instructions and then were left alone in their rooms to relax quietly. The McGill Pain Questionnaire- Short Form (MPQ-SF) was administered to all participants as a pre- and posttest measure of perceived pain. Statistical analysis of the pre- and posttests were completed using #-tests to compare each group's scores. Results for the live guitar music group revealed statistical significance for improvement in perceived pain levels. The researcher concluded that live guitar music paired with music facilitated relaxation is effective at reducing perceived pain levels related to arthritis in the elderly living in a nursing home.