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Music therapy-induced changes in salivary cortisol level are predictive of cardiovascular mortality in patients under maintenance hemodialysis

Authors Hou YC, Lin YJ, Lu KC, Chiang HS, Chang CC, Yang LK

Received 13 November 2016

Accepted for publication 20 January 2017

Published 23 February 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 263—272


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Deyun Wang

Yi-Chou Hou,1 Yen-Ju Lin,2 Kuo-Cheng Lu,1 Han-Sun Chiang,3 Chia-Chi Chang,4 Li-King Yang1

1Department of Internal Medicine, Cardinal Tien Hospital, School of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, 2Department of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, 3Graduate Institute of Basic Medicine, College of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 4School of Gerontology Health Management, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Background: Music therapy has been applied in hemodialysis (HD) patients for relieving mental stress. Whether the stress-relieving effect by music therapy is predictive of clinical outcome in HD patients is still unclear.
Methods: We recruited a convenience sample of 99 patients on maintenance HD and randomly assigned them to the experimental (n=49) or control (n=50) group. The experimental group received relaxing music therapy for 1 week, whereas the control group received no music therapy. In the experimental group, we compared cardiovascular mortality in the patients with and without cortisol changes.
Results: The salivary cortisol level was lowered after 1 week of music therapy in the experimental group (−2.41±3.08 vs 1.66±2.11 pg/mL, P<0.05), as well as the frequency of the adverse reaction score (−3.35±5.76 vs −0.81±4.59, P<0.05), the severity of adverse reactions score (−1.93±2.73 vs 0.33±2.71, P<0.05), and hemodialysis stressor scale (HSS) score (−6.00±4.68 vs −0.877±7.08, P<0.05). The difference in salivary cortisol correlated positively with HD stress score scales (r=0.231, P<0.05), systolic blood pressure (r=0.264, P<0.05), and respiratory rates (r=0.369, P<0.05) and negatively with finger temperature (r=−0.235, P<0.05) in the total study population. The 5-year cardiovascular survival in the experimental group was higher in patients whose salivary cortisol lowered by <0.6 pg/mL than that in patients whose salivary cortisol lowered by >0.6 pg/mL (83.8% vs 63.6%, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Providing music during HD is an effective complementary therapy to relieve the frequency and severity of adverse reactions, as well as to lower salivary cortisol levels. Differences in salivary cortisol after music therapy may predict cardiovascular mortality in patients under maintenance HD.

music therapy, maintenance hemodialysis, salivary cortisol

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