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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-134

Effect of music on heart rate variability and stress in medical students


1 Department of Physiology, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry, India
3 MBBS Student, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Radhakrishnan Latha
Department of Physiology, Sri Venkateshwaraa Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Ariyur, Puducherry 605 102
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-8093.137409

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Background and Aim: The stress in medical students is associated with concerns about mastering knowledge, personal endurance and lack of time for other activities. This study had been planned to assess the effect of music on frequency domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) as markers of autonomic functions and the stress level in medical students. Methods: Both male and female medical students aged between 17-20 years were randomly divided into two groups: Music ( n = 39) and nonmusic ( n = 41) groups. The participants in music group were asked to listen, a preselected classical music (Rag bilahari) for 30 minutes daily for one month. The frequency domain parameters of HRV were assessed in both the groups and the stress level was assessed by perceived stress scale in the music group. Results: The music group demonstrated a significant decrease in heart rate ( P < 0.0001), mean arterial pressure (P < 0.02) and rate pressure product ( P < 0.01) compared with non-music group. The music group also showed a significant increase in the total power ( P < 0.0001) and high frequency normalized unit ( P < 0.0001) and a significant decrease in low frequency normalized unit ( P < 0.0001) and low frequency/high frequency ratio, the most reliable marker of sympathovagal balance ( P < 0.0001) compared with nonmusic group. The stress level in music group was reduced significantly ( P < 0.0001) after listening to music. Conclusion: The study shows the possibility that classical music may have a beneficial effect on HRV and reduces the stress level in medical students, as the autonomic balance shifts towards the improvement of parasympathetic tone.


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