Coping-infused dialogue through patient-preferred live music: A medical music therapy protocol and randomized pilot study for hospitalized organ transplant patients

Tyler James Hogan, Michael J. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Solid organ transplant patients often experience a variety of psychosocial stressors that can lead to distress and may hinder successful recovery. Using coping-infused dialogue (CID) through patientpreferred live music (PPLM) music therapy sessions may improve mood and decrease pain while also imparting psychoeducational knowledge concerning the identification of local and global problems and coping skills. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to develop a copingbased medical music therapy protocol that combines coping-infused dialogue (CID) with patient-preferred live music (PPLM) and measure the effects of the resulting CID-PPLM protocol on mood (positive and negative affect) and pain in hospitalized transplant patients. Methods: Our study used a pre-/posttest single-session wait-list control design. Participants (N = 25) were randomly assigned to experimental (CID-PPLM) or control (usual care) conditions. Participants in the CIDPPLM condition received a single 30-minute session that integrated stressor identification and knowledge of coping skills (CID) with patientpreferred live music (PPLM). Results: Results indicated no between-group differences at pretest and significant correlations between pre-and posttest measures. Concerning posttest ANCOVA analyses, there were significant between-group differences in positive affect, negative affect, and pain, with experimental participants having more favorable posttest scores than control participants. Effect sizes were in the medium-to-large range for positive affect (ν2 = .198), negative affect (ν2 = .422), and pain (ν2 = .303). Conclusions: CID through receptive PPLM may be an effective protocol for improving mood and decreasing pain in organ transplant recipients. MT interventions can be an important tool to develop rapport and enhance outcomes with patients. As greater engagement during interventions may have stronger treatment effects, we recommend future research examining patient engagement as a potential mediator of intervention effects, as well as the number of sessions required to maximize clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-436
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of music therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the American Music Therapy Association 2015. All rights reserved.


  • Coping
  • Mood
  • Music Therapy
  • Organ Transplant
  • Randomized Controlled Trial


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