Aim. This Taiwan study investigated what effect listening to specially selected, relaxing music at home, on a self-regulated basis, had on the perceived stress and state anxiety of postpartum women.
Background. Listening to music has been increasingly used in the perinatal period, but few studies have been undertaken to provide evidence of its effectiveness.
Design. A randomised clinical trial.
Methods. Seventy-seven postpartum women were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 37) and a control group (n = 40). The experimental group listened to music at home for at least 30 minutes a day over two weeks and received regular postpartum care. The women in the control group received regular postpartum care only. The Perceived Stress Scale and State Anxiety Inventory were used to measure outcomes.
Results. After controlling the pretest scores and educational level of mothers, which was a significant covariate, there were no significant differences in the posttest levels of perceived stress and state anxiety between the two groups.
Conclusions. This study does not provide evidence that preselected designer music reduced stress and anxiety levels among postpartum women.
Relevance to clinical practice. Despite the absence of significant findings, there are lessons that professionals may find useful. It is recommended that future studies take more account of the stress factors that postpartum women are unable to control when they are listening to music at home.