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Effect of music therapy on the anxiety levels and sleep patterns of abused women in shelters.

14 Jun

Investigators from the University of Kansas explored the effect of a music therapy procedure (music-listening paired with progressive muscle relaxation) on the reduction of anxiety and improvement of sleep patterns in abused women staying in shelters.

Twenty-eight women residing in 2 domestic violence shelters in a Midwestern city met with the researcher on 5 consecutive days for half-hour sessions. A pretest-posttest design with control and experimental groups was used. Dependent variables included: stait anxiety measured by the STAI (Spielberger et al., 1983) before and after each music stimulus, sleep quality as measured by the PSQI (Buysse et al., 1989) on the first and last sessions, and levels of fatigue as measured by the Fatigue Scale (Lee, 1992) at waking time. xiety and improving sleep patterns in abused women staying in shelters

The independent variable was a 20-minute recording of participant-selected music with a Progressive Muscle Relaxation script.

Results indicated that music therapy constituted an effective method for reducing anxiety levels. Results also indicated a significant effect on sleep quality for the experimental group, but not for the control group. No significant relationships were found between anxiety levels and sleep quality, nor fatigue levels and sleep quality. These results seem promising in the light of domestic violence research, which has found that a greater amount of personal resources is a crucial aspect of abused women''s recovery process. Reduction of anxiety and improvement of sleep quality can be considered as increased personal resources, and seem feasible through the use of music therapy.

Citation: Hernandez-Ruiz E.Effect of music therapy on the anxiety levels and sleep patterns of abused women in shelters. Journal of Music Therapy. 2005 Summer; 42 (2): pages 140-58.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award