Listening to music may reduce anxiety during medical procedures. However, the magnitude of any effect may differ with respect to patient and procedure. We evaluated the effect of a musical intervention on patient anxiety during a central venous catheter or dialysis catheter implantation in an intensive care unit.
A prospective single-center controlled open-label 2-arm randomized trial was conducted in a medical intensive care unit (ICU) from February 2018 to February 2019. Patients undergoing central venous catheterization were randomized to listening to music or not during the procedure. Patients randomized to music listened to the Music Care application via headphones. The primary outcome was the change in anxiety assessed on a 100-mm Visual Analogue Scale between the beginning and end of the catheterization procedure. Secondary outcomes included postprocedural pain.
We included 37 patients in the musical intervention group and 35 in the standard care group. The primary reasons for intensive care unit admission were the need for a central catheter for chemotherapy for hematologic malignancy and sepsis and/or septic shock in both groups. Postprocedural anxiety and pain assessments were missing in 1 (2.7%) and 4 (11.4%) patients in the intervention and standard care groups. We found no between-group difference in change in anxiety score: median −1 (interquartile range, −3 to 0) vs 0 (−3 to 0) in the musical intervention and standard care groups (median difference, −1 [−2 to 0]) (P = .24). Postprocedural pain score did not differ between the groups: median 0 (0–2) and 0 (0–3.75) in the musical intervention and standard care groups (median difference, −0 [0–0]) (P = .40). To account for missing outcome assessments, sensitivity analyses were performed using 2 extreme scenarios, one favoring the standard care group (scenario 1) and the other favoring the intervention group (scenario 2). In either scenario, change in anxiety score did not differ between the intervention and standard care groups: −1 (−3 to 0) vs 0 (−4 to 0) (P = .88) in scenario 1 and −1 (−3 to 0) vs 0 (−2.75 to 1) (P = .07) in scenario 2.
In this first randomized pilot study of musical intervention for central venous catheterization in awake patients in the intensive care unit, the musical intervention did not reduce patients’ anxiety as compared with usual care.