Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lori F. Gooding

Second Advisor

Dr. Olivia Swedberg Yinger


Young children who experience high levels preoperative anxiety often exhibit distress behaviors, experience more surgical complications, and are at a higher risk for developing a variety of negative postoperative consequences. A significant factor in pediatric preoperative anxiety is the level of anxiety present in their caregivers. Music therapy interventions addressing a variety of procedural outcomes have been met with success. The purpose of this study was to investigate the comparative effectiveness of two music therapy interventions on reducing preoperative anxiety in young pediatric surgical patients and their caregivers.

A total of 40 pediatric patient and caregiver dyads were included in this study on various days that they were present for ambulatory surgery. Pediatric preoperative anxiety was measured pre- and post-intervention using the modified Yale Pediatric Anxiety Scale, while caregiver anxiety was measured through self-report using the short form Strait-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y6. Participants received a randomized active or passive preoperative music therapy session. Results indicate a significant reduction in preoperative anxiety for both patients and their caregivers. Neither active, nor passive music therapy interventions were significantly more effective than the other. Future studies should increase sample size and control for various factors such as sedative premedication use.