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Comparing Active and Passive Distraction-Based Music Therapy Interventions on Preoperative Anxiety in Pediatric Patients and Their Caregivers.



Young children who experience high levels of preoperative anxiety often exhibit distress behaviors, experience more surgical complications, and are at a higher risk for developing a variety of negative postoperative consequences. A significant factor in pediatric preoperative anxiety is the level of anxiety present in their caregivers. Active and passive music therapy interventions addressing anxiety prior to invasive procedures have been met with success.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the comparative effectiveness of two distraction-based music therapy interventions on reducing preoperative anxiety in young pediatric surgical patients and their caregivers.


A total of 40 pediatric patient and caregiver dyads undergoing ambulatory surgery were included in this study. Pediatric preoperative anxiety was measured pre- and post-intervention using the modified Yale Pediatric Anxiety Scale, while caregiver anxiety was measured through self-report using the short-form Strait-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y6. Participants were randomized to either an active or passive intervention group for a preoperative music therapy session.


Results indicated a significant reduction in preoperative anxiety for both patients and their caregivers regardless of intervention type. Neither active nor passive music therapy interventions were significantly more effective than the other.


For future studies, the researchers recommend an increased sample size, controlling for various factors such as sedative premedication use, and testing interventions with patients in various stages of development.


  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    Florida Hospital Orlando.

    Florida State University.


    Journal of music therapy 54:4 2018 Jan 13 pg 460-478

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



    PubMed ID