• background music;
  • music;
  • music as therapy;
  • stress

• A review of the therapeutic potential of music listening as a nursing intervention was performed.

• It revealed that evidence from a variety of fields and clinical specialities existed, including the use of music in critical care environments, surgical settings, dental surgery applications, mental healthcare, pain control, and generally for the control of anxiety and promotion of relaxation.

• Due to a number of reasons, including the variety of dependent variables that were measured and methodological issues such as the use of small sample sizes, it is difficult to form any firm conclusions.

• Tentatively, the research seems to indicate that there often appear to be positive changes in physiological variables measured, although these changes are not consistent, nor are they always statistically significant.

• More confidence can be placed in research that examines psychological variables, as a consistent positive impact on certain measures has been found.