Journal List > Korean J Health Promot > v.17(2) > 1089908

Ji and Jo: Effects of Music Therapy on Subjective Stress Response, Salivary Cortisol, and Fatigue for Intensive Care Nurses



The purpose of this study was to verify the effects of music therapy on subjective stress response, salivary cortisol and fatigue for nurses working in intensive care unit (ICU).


This study employed non-equivalent control group pretest–posttest design on quasi experimental basis. Subjects were 52 nurses (26 experimental and control group respectively) who have been working at ICU of Gil Hospital in Incheon, Korea. Data were collected from August 4 to October 6, 2014. Experimental group have listened to their 4-7 favorite musics individually once for 30 minutes after day-work.


In experimental group, subjective stress response (t=5.02, P<0.001), salivary cortisol (t=2.08, P=0.042), and fatigue (t=5.66, P<0.001) have decreased significantly comparing to the control group.


This study has confirmed especially through objective physiological index of salivary cortisol that listening the favorite music for nurses in ICU was an effective and objective managerial measure to resolve their job stress and fatigue.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

The genre of music preferred by experimental group (n=26)


Values are presented as number (%).

Table 2

Homogeneity test for general characteristics between experimental and control group (n=52)


Abbreviations: SD, standard variation; ICU, intensive care unit; MICU, medicine intensive care unit; SICU, surgery intensive care unit; NSICU, neuro surgery intensive care unit; HICU, heart surgery intensive care unit; TICU, trauma intensive care unit; NICU neonatal intensive care unit.

Values are presented as number (%) otherwise indicated.

aFisher's exact test.

Table 3

Homogeneity test for musical characteristics between experimental and control group (n=52)


Values are presented as number (%).

aFisher's exact test

Table 4

Homogeneity test for dependent variables between experimental and control group (n=52)


Values are presented as mean±standard variation.

Table 5

Difference test for subjective stress response, salivary cortisol (nmol/L) and fatigue between experimental and control group (n=52)


Values are presented as mean (standard variation).


This article is the condensed edition of Hyun Hee Ji's dissertation at College of Nursing, Gachon University.


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