A survey investigation of the effects of music listening on chronic pain

Laura A. Mitchell

Raymond A.R. MacDonald

Christina Knussen


Michael G. Serpell


Research interest into alternatives to analgesic medication has grown substantially during the past two decades. Moreover, a number of studies have provided empirical evidence that music listening, and in particular listening to our own preferred music, may provide an emotionally engaging distraction capable of reducing both the sensation of pain itself and the accompanying negative affective experience. The current study is a survey of 318 chronic pain sufferers, which aimed to (i) give a detailed description of the music listening behaviour of this group and relate this to experience of pain and quality of life, and (ii) indicate the numbers who consider music listening to be part of their pain management and investigate their perceptions of the benefits. Results indicated distraction and relaxation to be the most frequently perceived benefits of music reported by participants. Both frequent music listening and a perception of music as personally important were further found to relate to higher quality of life. Also, personal importance of music was significantly related to listening to help pain. These findings suggest beneficial effects of music listening to long-term pain.

Key Words: chronic pain • distraction • gender • musical preference • quality of life
Psychology of Music, Vol. 35, No. 1, 37-57 (2007)
DOI: 10.1177/0305735607068887
© 2007 Society for Education, Music, and Psychology Research

FMS Global News



About FMS Global News

Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Back Pain, Books, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Insomnia, Chronic Myofacial Pain, Chronic Pain, Clinical, Feeds, Fibrohugs, Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia News, FMS Global News, Global News, Health, Invisible Illness, Medical, Myofacial Pain Syndrome, News, News Australia, News Canada, News India, News Ireland, News Norway, News Scotland, News UK, Pain, Pain Management, Pain Management Clinic, Research, RSS, Sleep Disorders, Tenderpoints, Universities, US, World, World News, Worldwide. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A survey investigation of the effects of music listening on chronic pain

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