Cardiac surgery involves both physical and psychological stress for patients from time of decision to the recovery period. The physical aspects and the impact on the psychological experience makes the post-operative period a difficult time for patients. Patients often experience emotional distress, uncertainty, and fear. A non-pharmacological intervention of music may affect the patient's perception of early recovery with little to no side effects. Current research has demonstrated efficacy in psychological and physical responses. there is limited data on the endocrinologic (cortisol) and immunologic biomarkers Immunoglobulin A to a music intervention. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to measure both psychological/physical response and biomarkers pre and post a 30-minute music intervention compared to standard of care experience A randomized, placebo-controlled, pre-post clinical trial will be initiated to demonstrate the effect that music has on the primary outcome of serum cortisol and secondary outcomes of anxiety, pain, blood pressure, heart rate, respirations, and Immunoglobulin A in adult patients after cardiac surgery.



Eligible Ages
Between 18 Years and 90 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit or the Cardiac Surgical Step Down Unit after undergoing heart valve replacement/repair and/or coronary artery bypass surgery, or aortic repair over the age of 18 years, hemodynamically stable, extubated and able to hear music.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients that are deaf, hemodynamically unstable, intubated, and on infectious disease precautions after surgery.

Study Design

Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Supportive Care
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Treatment Arm
30 minutes of listening to music
  • Behavioral: music
    Music intervention for 30 minutes
No Intervention
Standard of Care
actual sounds of the intensive care unit environment

Recruiting Locations

Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts 02114

More Details

Massachusetts General Hospital

Study Contact

Diane L Carroll, PhD

Detailed Description

One hundred-twelve subjects will be enrolled, 56 subjects in the treatment and 56 subjects in the standard of care group. It was estimated this sample size would be needed to detect a medium effects size of .30 with an alpha set at a level of .05. Patients, who agree to participate, will be randomly allocated to one of two groups, treatment and standard of care group using a computer-generated randomization scheme. On post-operative day one, two or three, a 30-minute music period will be used through personal headphones and a MP3 device. Music will be a selection that is symphonic music that has no dramatic changes. The standard of care group will listen to environmental sounds in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Psychological, and physical responses as well as biomarkers will be collected pre and then 30 minutes after the start of the intervention period in both groups. The psychological response will be assessed by the Spielberger State Anxiety Scale to measure state anxiety and a visual analogue scale for measurement of pain. Physical responses will be collected that includes Blood pressure in mmHg, heart rate in beats per minute and respirations in beats per minute. The biomarkers collected will be serum cortisol measured in micrograms per deciliter and Immunoglobulin in milligrams per deciliter. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the sample and the outcomes measure will be compared using a student t-test.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.