This research studied, 25 adult patients who took part in physical therapy to assess the analgesic effect of distraction with the use of music during physical therapy. Study participants randomly underwent physical therapy once with music provided by an iPod and once without music. In both sessions patients underwent identical physical procedures. Immediately following both sessions patients filled out a 5-item questionnaire where they scored pain and other parameters, such as stress, enjoyment, interaction, and satisfaction, on 10-cm visual analog scale. The mean scores (range, 0-10) of the two sessions were statistically compared. Mean pain scores were significantly lower (p = .031) during the session in which patients received music (4.8 ± 2.5) than during the session without music (5.8 ± 2.3). The other items of the questionnaire did not reveal any statistically significant difference when the sessions with versus without music were compared. Enjoyment (8.5 ± 1.6), interaction (8.3 ± 1.9), and satisfaction (8.6 ± 1.7) scores with music did not significantly vary in the sessions without music (8.5 ± 2.1, 8.5 ± 1.9, and, 8.5 ± 1.5, respectively); mean stress score was, 3.9 in both sessions.
The findings of the study show that music provided through a portable media player possess an analgesic effect. This could be an effective analgesic strategy during painful physical therapy.