Music relieves kids' sense of pain: study

Updated: 2013-07-17 16:27


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VANCOUVER - More evidence shows that music decreases children's perceived sense of pain, according to newly published findings by medical researchers from Canada and the United States.

The study, published earlier this week in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Pediatrics, was led by researcher Lisa Hartling from the University of Alberta.

The researchers conducted a clinical research trial of 42 children between the ages of 3 and 11. They were admitted to a hospital in Alberta and needed IVs. Some children listened to music while getting an IV, and the others did not.

The research showed that the children who listened to music reported significantly less pain, some even demonstrated significantly less distress.

"The finding is clinically important. It's a simple intervention that can make a big difference. Playing music for kids during painful medical procedures would be an inexpensive but easy-to-use intervention in clinical settings," said Hartling.

Hartling and her team hope to continue their research to see whether music and other distractions can make a big difference for kids undergoing other painful medical procedures.

"There is growing scientific evidence showing that the brain responds to different types of music in very specific ways," said Hartling. "So additional research into how and why music may be a better distraction from pain could help achieve advancements in this field."