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Music therapy eased depression, anxiety symptoms in patients on dialysis

Music therapy improved depression and anxiety symptoms among patients on dialysis, according to some researchers.

Researchers did research on music therapy and found it to be incredibly potent in Asia and the Middle East, but there aren’t a lot of studies done in America. This is the first time they studied music therapy in a clinic where we accessed the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and patient health questionnaire (PHQ). The research was presented in a poster session at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings.

Some of the Researchers obtained consent from six patients receiving dialysis at the clinic in Texas before conducting the study. At baseline, researchers collected PHQ-9 depression scale and GAD-7 anxiety scale results from all patients. Then, researchers offered each patient a color-coded flash drive with 40 minutes of music at the beginning of dialysis treatment for 5 weeks. Music genres uploaded to the flash drive included opera, Latino, country, soul, pop and classic rock.

After 5 weeks of music therapy, researchers collected post-test PHQ-9 depression scale and GAD-7 anxiety scale results and compared these with pre-test results.

Results revealed the average PHQ-9 score among patients prior to music therapy was 4.8 and was 3.2 afterward. Similarly, the average GAD before music therapy was 4.5 and was 3.3 afterward.

The feedback was positive. Patients were asking for more music options. More clinics and hospitals are now planning to implement music therapy and maybe even have a live music therapist.

According to the study, music therapy may also have positive effects on other medical and social parameters, such as blood pressure and compliance with dialysis treatment. However, a reliable randomized control trial is needed with a larger pool of patients and consideration of confounding variables, the researchers noted.

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