Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing



Research Sponsor

Carolyn Murrock

First Reader

Lisa Hart

Second Reader

Wanda Csaky


Mechanical ventilation causes anxiety and agitation in patients in intensive care units, which increases risk for complications and prolonged hospital stays. Since pharmacological interventions have adverse effects and are not always effective at reducing anxiety and agitation, nonpharmacological interventions, such as music listening, could be considered. The purpose of this systematic review is to identify, review, and critically appraise the evidence from studies that examined the effect of music listening, compared with standard care, on anxiety and agitation in mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Using search engines, data bases, key words, and criteria, twenty studies are discussed and critically appraised. Findings consistently show that music listening may be a cost effective and alternative therapy to decrease anxiety and agitation in this population. Based on appraisal of study validity, reliability, and applicability, recommendations for practice and future research are advanced.