Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Bruce S Zahn, EdD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Harry J Morris, DO, MPH


The primary care setting is commonly referred to as the first line of medical treatment sought for health related services. Anxiety is one of the most frequently encountered mental health issues in primary care. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of state anxiety experienced among primary care patients, attending for routine and nonroutine appointments; its further purpose was to examine if self-selected relaxing music accounts for the greatest reductions in state anxiety among primary care patients, as compared with investigator-selected (classical) music, audio commercials, or no music. Patients included a primarily underserved primary care population between the ages of 19 and 76, attending for scheduled examinations at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Family Medicine Center. Patients were given self-report measures, which included demographic questions and measures of state anxiety, trait anxiety, musical preference, and satisfaction. The hypotheses for this study included: (1) patients attending for routine appointments will experience state anxiety, with those attending for nonroutine appointments experiencing the most significant levels and (2) self-selected music will account for the greatest reductions in state anxiety, when compared with the other group conditions. The results indicate that there were no significant differences in primary care patients’ levels of pre-state anxiety, whether they attended for routine or for non-routine appointments. The group conditions revealed that no significant mean differences exist on levels of post-state anxiety among the group conditions. Future research should continue to examine the anxiolytic effects of self-selected music among medical populations.