Some veterinary students experience elevated stress, anxiety, and depression resulting in disease and psychological changes. Elevated arousal, negative moods, and lack of interest can negatively affect performance and learning. Psychoacoustic music promotes calming effects using simple and slow piano sounds and can positively impact well-being and functioning. This pilot study assessed the effects of music on blood pressure, pulse, arousal, and mood during a canine physical examination laboratory. In an AB/BA crossover study, 17 students were randomly allocated to practice physical examination skills while listening to Through a Dog’s Ear, Volume 1
. Psychological and physiologic data were collected. Nonparametric methods were used to test for significant differences in psychological and physiologic data and a linear mixed models approach was used to test for physiological differences. There were no significant baseline differences between the music and no music groups for DASS-21 depression, anxiety, or stress scores; however, there were significant time differences between pretest and posttest on arousal and mood as measured by the Profile of Mood Sates (POMS) Depression, Fatigue–Inertia, and Tension Anxiety subscales. Linear mixed models revealed no significant treatment effect on the pulse and diastolic blood pressure; however, there was a significant systolic blood pressure treatment effect. Future indications include repeating the study with a larger sample to examine longitudinal psychological and physiological benefits.
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