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Feasibility of therapeutic music listening in fibromyalgia: a randomised controlled pilot study



Fibromyalgia patients can benefit from music approaches as complementary treatments. In the literature, it was shown that these interventions managed pain conditions as well as reduced complaints, increased relaxation, and improved moods.


This study aimed at evaluating music therapy, in the form of therapeutic music listening, specifically for patients with fibromyalgia, to treat chronic pain by reducing pain perception, increasing well-being, and improving quality of life.


Twenty-four patients with fibromyalgia were recruited to take part in this feasibility pilot study that adopted a between-subject and within-subject design. Participants were randomised into three groups: (1) standard care, (2) standard care plus preferred music listening, (3) standard care plus Melomics-Health music listening, composed by an algorithm. Participants in experimental groups listened to 30 min of music at home, twice a day for a month. Patients’ perceptions of changes following the listening, the intensity of pain and its interference in their lives, physical and mental well-being, and reported attitudes towards listening to music were evaluated respectively through the patients’ global impression of change, the brief pain inventory, the Short Form Healthy Survey-12, and the cognitive behavioural assessment-outcome evaluation.


The study showed that music listening can significantly affect mental well-being compared to no music. Moreover, the effects in the Melomics-Health group are maintained at follow-up. No significant effect on pain perception was noted.


The study provides information supporting a possible role of music listening in improving well-being of patients with fibromyalgia.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Correspondence to Alfredo Raglio.

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Ethics approval

Approval was obtained from the ethics committee of Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri IRCCS, Pavia, Italy (CE 924, 27/06/2013). The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Raglio, A., Bettaglio, R., Manera, M.R. et al. Feasibility of therapeutic music listening in fibromyalgia: a randomised controlled pilot study. Neurol Sci 44, 723–727 (2023).

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  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Therapeutic music listening
  • Algorithmic music
  • Mental well-being