Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This study investigated revised applications of therapeutic music in childbirth, specifically examining its effects upon stress and pain. After examining literature on childbirth stress and pain, the applications of therapeutic music in psychophysiology, and current practices in music-assisted childbirth, it was concluded that implementation of music assisted childbirth needed simplification in order to survive as a hospital program. A post test-only control group design tested the hypothesis that a simplified music program could reduce stress and pain during prepared natural childbirth. Consenting subjects from local Lamaze natural childbirth classes were randomly assigned to music or control groups. Music subjects used a set of programmed music tapes with their Lamaze techniques, both during home practice and at the hospital. Information collected on net systolic blood pressure change (labor and delivery average minus prenatal average) and number of standardized pain medication doses administered were compared by group via multivariate analysis of variance. Univariate analyses and personal phone interviews provided follow-up information. Although it was hypothesized that the music group would show significantly less blood pressure increase and fewer doses of pain medication, results indicated no significant differences between music and control groups. Descriptive statistics and MANOVA univariate information suggested that the influence of music reduced the variability of responses, and could approach significant reductions in systolic blood pressure change given procedural changes. Possible explanations and implications of the results were explored, and recommendations for future music- assisted childbirth research were outlined.


James Ryabik

Date of Award

Spring 1986

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1986 Susan Collins Peach


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