Tim Brunson DCH

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Music reduces patient anxiety during interfacility ground critical care transport.



INTRODUCTION: Interfacility ground critical care transport (CCT) of patients by ambulance may be stressful. This study evaluated whether playing music during CCT reduces patient anxiety and whether objective evidence is manifested by a change in vital signs. SETTING: Urban teaching hospital. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, music was played for eligible adult patients during CCT while recording vital signs. A questionnaire was subsequently mailed to patients to rate whether the ambulance transport was stressful, the impact music had on transport, whether music changed their anxiety, whether music made them comfortable and relaxed, and whether they would prefer music to be played on future transports. Vital signs were compared between respondents who perceived transport as stressful and those who did not. RESULTS: One hundred two patients were enrolled; 23 respondents (22.5%) constituted the study group. Four patients (17.4%) reported CCT as stressful (average response, 4.75). Nineteen (82.6%) rated CCT as not stressful (average response, 1.63). Subjectively, patients reported a positive impact of music on transport, with improved comfort and relaxation but only a minimal decrease in anxiety. No statistically significant change in vital signs was observed between cohorts; too few patients were enrolled to generate power to detect any difference. CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy is a simple adjunct for use during CCT that may increase patient comfort and alleviate anxiety. The small number of patients in this preliminary report limits the strength of any conclusions. Larger studies are needed

Air Med J. 2009 Mar-Apr;28(2):88-91. Stuhlmiller DF, Lamba S, Rooney M, Chait S, Dolan B. New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA. stuhlmillerd@emamd.com

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