OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the effects of music therapy on pain, depression and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.
METHODS: Ten online databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials that investigated the effects of music therapy on fibromyalgia patients, published up to 1st January 2019. The results were filtered and independently extracted. Statistical heterogeneity was assessed using the chi-square test. According to the outcome of the heterogeneity indices, either a fixed effect or a random effect model was used.
RESULTS: In total, seven randomized controlled trials were included. The Pain Visual Analog Scale, the McGill Pain Scale, the Beck Depression Scale and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire were used as outcome measures. Our evidence indicated that patient intervention with music therapy had lower scores on the Pain Visual Analog Scale (95% confidence interval [CI] -2.22 to -1.18, Z = 6.44, P < 0.00001, four studies) and Beck Depression Scale (95% CI -0.65 to -0.03, Z = 2.17, P = 0.03, two studies). No significant differences were observed on the McGill Pain Scale between the music intervention and control groups (95% CI -0.83 to -0.09, Z = 1.59, P = 0.11). A general qualitative description of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire results was given due to high heterogeneity (I2 = 96%, P < 0.00001).
CONCLUSIONS: The music therapy is superior to non-music therapy in the treatment of pain, depression, and improvement of quality of life in fibromyalgia patients. However, due to the low quantity and quality of the included studies, a larger number and high-quality of RCTs are needed to confirm the beneficial effects of music therapy.
Keywords: Depression Fibromyalgia Meta-analysis Music therapy Pain Quality of life