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

Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective evidence based medicine review is to determine whether or not music therapy intervention is effective in decreasing pain after standard wound care in hospitalized burn patients.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review compiling data from three randomized controlled trials in 2016, all in the English language.

DATA SOURCES: After a thorough search of PubMed and Cochrane, three pertinent studies were found to include in this review. The selected studies were evaluated to assess the effectiveness of music therapy in decreasing pain after wound care in hospitalized burn patients.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Decrease in pain symptoms were measured by three self-reported pain scales: The Persian version of burn specific pain anxiety scale (BSPAS) ranging from 0– 10011, a self-reported numeric rating scale of 0-1012, and a patient reported score on a visual analog scale from 0-10013.

RESULTS: Two of the three randomized control trials showed a statistically significant decrease in pain amongst the group receiving music intervention.11,13 One study showed a mean pain score amongst the control group of 91.17 versus 68.12 amongst the intervention group with a p-value of <0.001.11 Another showed a reduction in pain of 29.20 in the intervention group and an increase of 1.03 in the control group with a p-value of <0.001.13 The last study did show a lower overall pain score amongst the intervention group of 1.828 versus 2.000 in the control group, but the p-value showed no statistical significance at p=0.57.12

CONCLUSION: Based on the systematic review of these three studies, music therapy does likely aid in relieving post-procedural burn pain, but the evidence is not conclusive and warrants more research. With that said, the findings in all three studies are encouraging that music therapy is in fact effective and will be proven effective with further research.

Included in

Critical Care Commons