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Background: The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in stressful work environments above what is considered normal for acute care settings. Chronic stress is known to have adverse effects on physical and emotional health and may lead to higher risk for job burnout and decreased quality of patient care.

Objectives: To examine the role of live therapeutic music (LTM) on stress reduction among healthcare workers (HCWs) in a COVID-19 intensive care unit.

Methods: A descriptive design was used. A convenience sample of 60 HCWs working in two COVID-19 critical care units were included. Each participant attended one 30-minute LTM session during a 12-hour shift. Self-reported data for stress was collected pre and post-intervention. Pearson’s correlation and paired samples t-test were used for data analysis.

Results: Participants reported significantly higher degrees of life stress than the U.S. national average (t (59) = 5.43, p = .001) and was highest among those in nursing support roles. Higher life stress was significantly associated wth higher pre-intervention stress (r =.59, p=.001). This study revealed a significant reduction in current stress levels, post-intervention (t(59)=12.48, p = .001). Higher degrees of life stress were significantly associated with greater reductions in current stress levels, post-intervention (r=.58, p=.001).

Conclusion LTM was effective in reducing HCWs’ stress levels during a 12-hour shift. A 44.74% reduction in perceived stress scores were observed. Future studies that examine the impact of LTM as a potential strategy for stress management and wellness among HCWs are needed.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Live Therapeutic Music and Stress

  • Journal title
    • Interprofessional Journal of Healthcare and Research

  • Volume
    • 1

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      This team would like to acknowledge the critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, patient care technicians, and unit assistants who participated in this study, Maria Whitt, MHSM, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, for her support of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Therapeutic Music Program, and the NGMC W.A.T.C.H. members, an employee giving club of the Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation.