Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not music therapy improves pain management and anxiety during burn dressing changes.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English languages primary randomized controlled trial studies published from 1992-2010.

DATA SOURCES: Three randomized controlled trials studying the affects of music therapy during burn dressing changes were found using PubMed, OVID and Cochrane databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Outcomes measured were level of pain and anxiety experienced by the patients. The severities of these symptoms were measured using a numeric scale system. An analyses of anxiety was measured using Spielberger’s State- Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Form Y) in one of the studies.

RESULTS: Two of the randomized control trials showed that music therapy in adjunct with standard protocols for burn dressing changes improved the level of pain and anxiety in patients. Results from Tan and Miler’s study showed significant decrease of pain and anxiety in patients with adjunct music therapy. In the study conducted by Haythornthwaite et al, there was no significant relief of symptoms in patients who received the intervention.

CONCLUSION: The trials reviewed, designed to qualify the affects of music therapy on burn patients, demonstrated that there is a significant reduction of pain and anxiety during and after standard dressing change procedure.