What effect does music have on pain, depression, and disability? A recent study produced some surprising results.
Patients were divided into three groups. Two groups were told to listen to music over a seven-day period. The third group was not directed to listen to music. The results showed that any kind of music can heighten the effect of painkillers; decrease pain, depression, and disability; and promote feelings of power. Listener pain ratings fell 20 percent; depression scores dropped by as much as 25 percent; and self-rated disability tumbled to an average of 18 percent. Feelings of empowerment rose 8 percent.
Researchers conclude that music is not a substitute for pain medication, but in many cases may be a cost-effective adjunct treatment.