Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not music therapy reduces anxiety levels in end-stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic Review of two randomized controlled trials and one crossover study published in English in 2008, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

DATA SOURCES: Two non-blind randomized controlled trials and one cross-over study were found via PubMed and EBSCOhost databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Subjective Anxiety Levels were measured in ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis pre and posttest via patient self-reporting. An anxiety level survey graded on a scale of 1-10 was used in the study by Binson et all. The State-Trait Anxiety Index was utilized in the studies by Pothoulaki et all and Cantekin et all.

RESULTS: All three studies demonstrated a statistically significant change in post-test anxiety levels in the ESRD patients who were surveyed following music therapy which was during their dialysis sessions.

CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy seems to be effective in ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis treatments, however the effects of repeated, non-novel music therapy interventions over the course of time are not known.