Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Elizabeth O. Dietz

Second Advisor

Christine Hooper


In 1999, approximately three quarters of patients admitted to emergency departments reported pain (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 2000). Managing pain pharmacologically alone may not be enough because pain perception is a complex phenomenon that consists of both physiological and psychological components (Trauger-Querry & Haghighi, 1999). Music therapy is one of the systematic applications in treatment of physiological and psychological aspects of an illness or disability (Cook, 1981).The objectives of this study were to measure the pain intensity index PPI (Melzack) level before after the intervention with music therapy to investigate if music therapy is effective for pain management; and to compare the mean PPI gain scores between the music intervention group and the non-music intervention group. A quantitative research design, with twenty-six randomly selected patients with acute abdominal or acute chest pain, was used to test the research question, "Is pain intensity lower among patients with pain who are provided with a combination of both medications and music therapy sessions than the patients who are provided with medications alone?" By using the independent sample test, it showed there was a significant difference in Pain Intensity Index gain scores (t = 2.867, df= 24, p < .05) between the study and the control group. Therefore, music therapy was indicated to have some degree of usefulness in pain management; and the validity of the research question was supported with a significance level at p < . 05. Health providers may now consider incorporating music therapy as an alternative way of managing pain in addition to the routine analgesic.