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Music therapy soothes fibromyalgia symptoms

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Music and fibromyalgia

Research suggests guided imagery based music therapy can ease symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Scientists studied the effect of music among patients with the disease from the provinces of Granada, Almería and Córdoba, Spain, finding it could ease depression and improve sleep ,improving quality of life for those with fibromyalgia.

For the study, patients were given a CD to listen to listen to at home throughout a series of sessions.

The researchers then measured depression, sleep quality, pain, daily activity and quality of life.

Following the research, patients conducted therapy in the home.

Baseline evaluation was conducted before the study, at fours week and eight weeks after the intervention. Pain was assessed with the McGill Pain Questionnaire Long Form and depression with the Beck inventory.

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The researchers found music improved quality of life for patients with the disease, which they suggest could be integrated into other fibromyalgia treatment.

In the study, the combination of music therapy and guided imagery was shown to be an effective intervention to help patients cope with several of the major symptoms of fibromyalgia.

The researchers said, "further empirical research studies are needed to address other physiological variables associated with the well-being generated by these two techniques, and that analyze patients' self-efficiency and personal power to get involved in their own treatment.”

One of the advantages of music therapy and guided imagery is that it empowers patients to get involved in their own treatment. Another is the low cost of the interventions.

The authors note fibromyalgia treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach. In the study, music and guided imager significantly reduced pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep in the patients studied. The study, published in the journal "Pain Management Nursing", suggests the therapy can be used by nurses to help patients cope with the condition, the cause of which is unknown.

University of Grenada
"Music therapy relieves fibromyalgia symptoms and improves patients’ quality of life"
María Dolores Onieva Zafra and colleagues

Image credit: Morgue file