Music-induced analgesia in chronic pain: efficacy and assessment through a primary-task paradigm

Finlay, Katherine A. (2014) Music-induced analgesia in chronic pain: efficacy and assessment through a primary-task paradigm. Psychology of Music, 42 (3). pp. 325-346.

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Research into music-induced analgesia, the ability of music to affect the perception of pain, has under-represented the non-acute, chronic pain population. This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the impact of music listening on chronic pain. To extend traditional questionnaire-based approaches to pain assessment, a computerised visual search task was used before and after music listening as an objective measure of pain-related cognitive processing difficulties. Twenty-three participants (chronic pain sufferers or age and gender matched controls) listened to music for 28 days. Questionnaire-based results indicated that music listening consistently reduced pain intensity, unpleasantness and anxiety levels in the short-term. However there were no long-term or cumulative changes in pain relief or anxiety, with participant ratings at baseline comparable to those at 28 days. Visual search task performance demonstrated that chronic pain sufferers showed pain-related cognitive processing inhibitions on the target deviations demanding the greatest processing capacity. This suggests that though music-induced analgesia was demonstrated through reduced pain ratings, chronic pain continued to interfere with cognitive processing. Durability of music-induced analgesia is therefore likely to be time-limited and hindered by pain-related attentional disruption, reduced engagement and low absorption levels. Explanations for these results and suggestions for alternative objective monitors of music listening interventions are offered.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attention, audio-analgesia, chronic pain, distraction, music-induced analgesia, visual search
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Katherine Finlay
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2015 13:15
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015 13:15

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