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New paper published in The Journal of Music Therapy


“The effect of relaxation music listening on sleep quality of traumatized refugees: A pilot study”

Journal of Music Therapy, Volume 49, Issue 2, June 2012, Pages 205-229


Background: Traumatized refugees often suffer from severe sleep problems, with serious consequences in physiological and psychological areas of functioning. Recent research suggests that music may be a viable intervention to improve sleep quality. Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether sleep quality of traumatized refugees could be improved by listening to relaxation music at bedtime, and whether such an improvement would affect the experience of trauma symptoms and well-being. Methods: This study used a two-group pretest/posttest design with repeated measures taken for sleep quality. Dependent variables included sleep quality measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, trauma symptoms as measured by the PTSD-8 and well-being measured by the “How Do You Feel?” questionnaire designed specifically for refugees. Fifteen traumatized refugees with sleep problems participated in the study. The intervention group received the music listening condition (relaxing music played at night through a music player nested in an ergonomic pillow); the control group received only the ergonomic pillow. Results: Statistical comparisons showed a significant improvement of sleep quality in the music group, but not in the control group. A significant increase in well-being was found only in the intervention group, but there were no changes in trauma symptoms in either of the groups. Conclusions: These results support the use of relaxation music listening at bedtime to improve sleep quality in traumatized refugees. © 2012 by the American Music Therapy Association.