The effects of music intervention on sleep quality in community-dwelling elderly

Qun Wang, Sek Ying Chair, Mi Ling Eliza Wong, Xiaomei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


2016. Objectives: To examine the effects of music intervention on sleep quality in community-dwelling elderly people. Design: Two-armed randomized controlled trial. Settings: Four urban communities in Xi'an, China. Participants: People aged 60 years or older with poor sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI] score >7). Interventions: All participants received one sleep hygiene education session and biweekly telephone calls. Each participant in the intervention group received an MP3 player with a music database. The participants selected the preferred music and listened for 30-45 minutes per night for 3 months. Outcome measures: Sleep quality, the main study outcome, was measured by PSQI at baseline, 1 month, 2 months, and 3 months. Results: Sixty-four elderly people with a mean age of 69.38 ± 5.46 years were randomly assigned to the control group (n = 32) or the intervention group (n = 32). All participants completed the study, and none reported discomfort related to the music intervention. The intervention group demonstrated continuous improvements in sleep quality, with a global PSQI score of 13.53 at baseline, 9.28 at 1 month, 8.28 at 2 months, and 7.28 at 3 months. Although the global PSQI score in the control group also decreased from 12.26 at baseline to 8.72 at 3 months, the intervention group achieved greater improvements at each measurement (all p < 0.05). Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant group-by-time interaction effects in global PSQI score and three component scores: sleep latency, sleep efficiency, and daytime dysfunction (all p < 0.05). Conclusion: Music is a safe and effective nonpharmacological intervention for improving the sleep quality of community-dwelling elderly people, especially in improving sleep latency, sleep efficiency, and daytime dysfunction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-584
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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