Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Olivia Catolico, Ph.D, RN, CNL, RN-BC


Congenital heart defects is a prominent medical occurrence especially in pediatrics. These defects often require surgeries and extensive treatment plans. These treatment plans often include invasive surgeries and extensive treatment plans which can require long recovery times along with potential surgical complications. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of music therapy on pediatric patients with congenital heart defects in the pre and postoperative setting and how music therapy can be implemented in treatment plans to yield effective recovery results for these patients. This research is significant as elevated vital signs and preoperative anxiety are associated with an increased need for anesthesia and analgesia requirements which can correlate to a risk for surgical complications. Elevated postoperative pain can result in an increased need for analgesic medications which can contribute to medication toxicity in a pediatric patient which can cause further complications. This study would consist of 80 pediatric patients on a cardiac unit aged 1 day to 10 years old diagnosed with a congenital heart defect who is undergoing cardiac surgery. A quasi-experimental randomized control trial will be conducted to compare the results of these cardiac patients in both preoperative and postoperative procedures. In these settings nurses would be responsible for gathering pre and postoperative vital signs, assessing preoperative anxiety, and assessing postoperative pain levels. With this study it is expected that patients who received music therapy during both pre and post operative procedures experienced a stabilization of vital signs, reduced preoperative anxiety, and lower postoperative pain levels.