Get access

Retracted: A randomised controlled study of the effects of music on sleep quality in older people


  • Moon Fai Chan

    1. Author:Moon Fai Chan, PhD, CStat, Assistant Professor, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    Search for more papers by this author


This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Retraction Volume 20, Issue 15-16, 2382, Article first published online: 14 July 2011

Moon Fai Chan, Assistant Professor, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore, Block E3A, Level 3, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574. Telephone: (65) 6516 8684.


Aim.  To determine the effect of music on sleep quality in older people.

Background.  Sleep disturbance is common in older people and its impacts on older adults along with its conventional treatment merit our attention as our population ages. Conventional pharmacological method might result dependence and impairment in psychomotor and cognitive function. Listening to music, which is a non-pharmacological method, might promote relaxation, induce distraction responses and promote sleep quality.

Design.  A randomised controlled study.

Methods.  The study was conducted from December 2006–January 2007. Forty-two older people (21 using music and 21 controls) completed the study in Hong Kong. Physiological (blood pressure and heart rate) and sleep quality variables were collected once a week for one month.

Results.  For all vital signs’ results, no significant differences were found between both music and control groups within the four weeks. In the music group, there was statistically significant reduction in sleep scores at week 4. In control group, there was no statistically significant improvement of sleep scores in the four weeks. However, no significant difference was found between groups over the four weeks.

Conclusion.  Whilst there were no statistical differences between groups, there was some indication that music yielder higher improvement on sleep scores, which are worthier of further investigation in larger trials.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The implication of this study is that music listening can help nurses build therapeutic relationships with older people. Nurses are recommended to use music as part of their holistic caring for older people.