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Music, relaxation and COPD



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A description of the experience

Chron Respir Dis. 2009;6(4):209-16. doi: 10.1177/1479972309346754. Comparison of the effectiveness of music and progressive muscle relaxation for anxiety in COPD--A randomized controlled pilot study. Singh VP, Rao V, V P, R C S, K KP. Srinivas College of Physiotherapy, Pandeshwar, Mangalore, India. vijayprataps@gmail.com

Acute effects of music and relaxation have not been evaluated in hospitalized subjects with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This study aims to evaluate the acute effects of music and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) in hospitalized COPD subjects after a recent episode of exacerbation.

A Randomized controlled study was performed of pre-test post-test design after recruiting 82 COPD subjects from K.M.C hospitals. All patients were admitted for acute exacerbation and were medically stabilized. After being screened for the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 72 subjects were selected for the study. Demographic and baseline data was taken on the day subjects were screened.

Music group listened to a self selected music of 60-80 beats per minute for 30 minutes.

PMR group practiced relaxation through a pre-recorded audio of instructions of 16 muscle groups.

Outcome variables were Spielberger's state anxiety inventory (SSAI), Spielberger's trait anxiety inventory (STAI), dyspnea, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), pulse rate (PR) and respiratory rate (RR).  There was statistically significant main effect across the sessions for:

  • state anxiety (F = 62.621, p = 0.000), trait anxiety (F = 19.528, p = 0.000),
  • dyspnea (F = 122.227, p = 0.000),
  • SBP (F = 63.885, p = 0.000),
  • PR (F = 115.780, p = 0.000) and
  • RR (F = 202.977, p = 0.000).

There was statistically significant interaction effect between the two groups for

  • state anxiety (F = 6.024, p = 0.003), trait anxiety (F = 8.222, p = 0.000),
  • dyspnea (F = 10.659, p = 0.000),
  • SBP (F = 12.889, p = 0.000),
  • PR (F = 4.746, p = 0.008) and
  • RR (F = 12.078, p = 0.000).

There were greater changes observed after the second session in both groups however, change in DBP was not significant in either group.

Music and PMR are effective in reducing anxiety and dyspnoea along with physiologic measures such as SBP, PR and RR in two sessions in COPD patients hospitalized with exacerbation. However, reductions in the music group were greater compared to the PMR group.

PMID: 19858350

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Activities and commonsteps


Music therapy