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Music-based treatments and pain

Music-based treatments and pain

Researchers have discovered that music may help people manage their pain, but they don’t know why it helps. The purpose of this study is to find out how music-based treatments change brain wave activity, and how these changes may explain how these types of treatments improve chronic low back pain. The findings of this research study may help improve the overall effectiveness of music-based treatments and other similar treatments besides pain medications.

Participation in this study will last two days and involve the following activities:

  • Answering basic questions about yourself, including your age, sex, race and pain
    history (10 minutes)
  • Answering questions about your pain, mood, and sleep quality right before the
    treatment session (5 minutes)
  • Participating in one 20-minute session of music-based treatment at the University
    of Washington (UW) Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC). Five minutes before
    and during the treatment session we will measure your brain activity by using an
    electroencephalogram (EEG), a device that measures the electrical activity in the
    brain through electrodes put on the scalp
  • Answering questions about your overall experience during the treatment session
    (5 minutes)
  • Answering questions about your pain, mood, and sleep quality via telephone about
    24 hours after your treatment session (10 minutes)


You may find the treatment session relaxing. You might not experience any benefit from being in the study, however:

  • You may find answering questions about your mood uncomfortable.
  • You may find sitting for the entire treatment session uncomfortable.
  • You may experience some discomfort or pain while wearing the electrode net on your head.


Participant Eligibility

Participants must be 18 years of age
Able to speak, read and write in English
Able to come to the UWMC IBIC lab in Seattle for 1 session
If Healthy volunteer, must not have any pain
Does not have a health condition associated with central nervous system damage (e.g., epilepsy, traumatic head injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s)


Ai Vy Nguyen
(206) 616-9513

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Music-based treatments and pain: Underlying mechanisms

Study ID: STUDY00014335
Start Date: 11/28/2021
End Date: 03/15/2024

Mark Jensen PI
Mark Pettet Co-PI

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

University of Washington Montlake

1959 N.E. Pacific
Seattle, Washington 98195


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.