Background: Patients with loss of consciousness experience pain as a result of invasive procedures, mechanical ventilation, and the physical setting of the intensive care unit (ICU). The current study was conducted to determine the effect of music on pain intensity among ICU-admitted patients with loss of consciousness.
Methods: In this clinical trial, the study population consisted of intubated patients under mechanical ventilation, who were admitted to the ICU of a hospital in Zahedan, Iran in 2015. A total of 60 eligible patients were selected through convenience sampling and were divided into intervention (listening to music) and control groups (n=30 per group), using permuted-block randomization. During the intervention, the patients were exposed to Arnd Stein's instrumental music (via headphones), which was played in three 30-min sessions. On the other hand, the control group only received routine care for pain relief. Pain measurement was performed through Behavioural Pain Scale (BPS) at 5 min before the intervention and immediately after listening to music. In the control group, pain measurements were carried out within the same time intervals as the intervention group. For statistical analysis, independent t-test, paired t-test, Chi-square, and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were performed, using SPSS version15.
Results: Evaluation of the mean pain scores over three days of the intervention showed a major decline in the intervention group (P<0.0001). The difference was significant between the intervention and control groups (P<0.0001). However, as the findings revealed, the difference in the control group was insignificant.
Conclusion: According to the results of the present study, music can reduce pain intensity among patients with loss of consciousness. Therefore, this type of therapy can be used as a simple and practical method for pain relief.