Effects of Patient-Directed Interactive Music Therapy on Sleep Quality in Postoperative Elderly Patients: A Randomized-Controlled Trial


Main idea: Single IMT intervention improved subjectively assessed short-term sleep quality in postoperative elderly patients. It is difficult to conclude whether music therapy intervention affects the level of melatonin and cortisol.


This study aimed to investigate the effects of patient-directed interactive music on saliva melatonin levels and sleep quality among postoperative elderly patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).

A total of 133 elderly patients were randomized into three groups: interactive music therapy (IMT), passive listening (PL), and the control group. The control group (n = 45) received routine medical care, while IMT and PL groups received music therapy on ICU day 1.

Results: The RCSQ showed a significant improvement in the IMT group compared to the control group on POD2 (71.50 vs 56.89), but the QoR40 did not show any difference between groups. The quality control of the saliva sample was not available due to the immediate postoperative patient’s condition, resulting in a higher dropout rate. Saliva melatonin levels on POD 1 were elevated in the IMT group compared to the control group (1.45 vs 0.04). The cortisol level did not show a significant difference between groups.


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