Preoperative music therapy for pediatric ambulatory surgery patients: A retrospective case series

Lori F. Gooding, Olivia Swedberg Yinger, Joseph Iocono

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Many children undergoing surgery develop anxiety, which can lead to negative health outcomes. Music therapy has the potential to help reduce pediatric preoperative anxiety, yet there has been limited research in this area. A retrospective review was conducted of a pilot music therapy program in an ambulatory surgery center. Active, developmentally appropriate music therapy interventions were used to help reduce preoperative anxiety in 103 pediatric patients between ages 2 and 9. Data indicated a trend for improvement in patient affect and emotional expression, both of which are indicators of anxiety reduction. Parents reported that their children's levels of distress/anxiety were better when receiving music therapy treatment than in previous medical experiences. Parents additionally reported that music therapy benefited both them and their child, and that music therapy improved their perception of the facility. Results suggest that preoperative music therapy can help reduce anxiety in children and their parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalMusic Therapy Perspectives
Issue number2
Early online dateSep 3 2015
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the American Music Therapy Association 2015.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Music
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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