The effects of music listening on the management of pain in primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Juan Sebastian Martin-Saavedra, Angela Maria Ruiz-Sternberg

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4 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study aims to explore the effects of music listening, compared to silence, on pain management in primary dysmenorrhea (PD). Method: A researcher-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted from September 2017 to April 2018 at the Universidad del Rosario (Bogota, Colombia). Women with PD aged between 18 years and 26 years old were included. The intervention was provided during the first 12 hours of menses. Participants were instructed to avoid analgesics until the intervention. The music group (n = 29) listened to a C major musical composition with a tempo of 60 beats per minute and no percussion nor lyrics. Silence was used for the control group (n = 23). Both interventions lasted 29ʹ32” and participants wore headphones in both groups. Pain (using a 10-cm visual analogue scale), anxiety (using the Zung scale), and the expressed desire to use other analgesic treatments were evaluated immediately after and 3–6 hours after the intervention. The primary outcome was change in pain from pre to post intervention measurements. Results: Homogeneity between groups was reached. Adjusted mean pain scores after the interventions were significantly lower (p = 0.006; R 2 = 0.545) in the music group (adjusted mean 3.13) than the silence group (adjusted mean 4.56). Logistic regression showed that music group was more likely to reduce analgesic use after the intervention (OR 5.4, 95% CI 1.4–21, R 2 = 0.28). Discussion: Music listening during the first 12 hours of menses significantly reduced pain and the need for analgesics in PD compared to silence. Trial registration: NCT03593850;

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-415
Number of pages17
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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