Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Mary Horan

Second Advisor

Dorothy Bouwman

Third Advisor

Leslie Eitzen


Individuals with increased intracranial pressure (ICP) from all causes are subject to periods of marked increased intracranial pressures. Research since the 1960's has focused primarily on pathophysiologic causes and on variations between pathologies. Since 1978, nursing research has identified increases in ICP with patient-related activities such as suctioning, vagal stimulations, positioning, turning, noises, and emotive conversations. The use of therapeutic touch has been identified as a nursing intervention that correlates with a lowering of ICP. Since auditory pathways have been shown to be intact even in severely brain-injured individuals, the use of music (the universal language) may be effective in decreasing ICP. The purpose of this study was to identify music as an independent, nursing intervention that would be effective in lowering ICP. A convenience sample of 10 intensive care patients were the subjects in this study to monitor the effects of music on the level of ICP. A quasi-experimental design, utilizing a pre-test/post-test repeated measures format, was utilized with each subject serving as her/his own control. Subjects were exposed to a sedative music selection and a preferred music selection. Human rights protection was accomplished by an informed consent procedure and institutional review approval. Data was collected to observe for differences related to various pathologies, age (17-60 years), sex, musicality, and physiologic parameters. T-tests were performed on the means to determine the difference between treatments. There was no significant change seen in the physiologic parameters. However, sedative music showed a significant difference (p


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