Melodic Medicine: How Classical Turkish Music Soothes Stress and Eases Loneliness

Published: 11 May 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/f38s2rsn3t.1
gizem beycan ekitli,


This study investigated the impact of traditional classical Turkish music as a telehealth intervention on reducing stress and loneliness among elderly individuals. Elders were randomized into two main groups according to whether they lived alone or with someone. The experimental study design and sample selection were conducted according to the CONSORT model. The final sample comprised 70 elders who were divided into two randomized groups: control group (no intervention applied, n =34), and intervention group (livestream participation, n = 36). Because there was no comparable research study with a similar research sample and intervention, the representativeness of the sample group for the population was confirmed using Type 1-2 error and confidence level, as well as power analysis data obtained after collecting follow-up data. In a prior study in which experimental power analysis was pertinent, the calculated power of the research was 88% with a post hoc 95% confidence interval and a sampling error of d = 0.05. We used G*Power software to conduct a power analysis based on a mixed design analysis of variance test. The analysis showed that the power value was 0.89, which indicates that the sample power was 99.0%. Interactive livestream musical interventions were performed for four weeks, in total eight sessions. The data of the study were collected three times with the Perceived Stress Scale and UCLA Loneliness Scale III in a pretest-posttest-follow-up test design (12th week after the posttest). Significance of difference tests, repeated variance analyses, and strength of influence tests were performed in dependent and independent groups with and without normal distribution. Interactive livestream classical Turkish music with a group effectively decreased the total scores of the Perceived Stress Scale, including perceived insufficient self-efficacy, perceived distress, and UCLA Loneliness Scale III scores, among elderly individuals who experienced physical distancing measures during the pandemic period in a short amount of time (p<0,05). Musical interventions demonstrated a high level of effect size (ηp2= 0,897).


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The current study was conducted in one of the most crowded cities in Turkey, Izmir. The universe of the study consists of elders aged 65 and above who were registered at the XXXXX Third Age University and experiencing home isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic (N=265, [130 living alone]). Participants were third age university students who met the following inclusion criteria: (a) registered for and attending their first years of lectures; (b) aged higher than 65; (c) were able to use an interactive social media application via a computer, mobile phone or other electronic devices, and (d) participated willingly and voluntarily in the research. The online-tool randomization method was utilized to apply simple randomization. Upon identifying the sample, it was initially segregated into two categories: individuals who resided alone and those who did not. The grouping of participants was carried out using an assignment method through a computer program, ensuring equivalence among research groups in terms of gender, stress, and loneliness. Following randomization, conformity of the groups’ homogeneity and scales scores to normal distribution were examined with the Shapiro-Wilk test, skewness and kurtosis coefficients, histograms, and Levene’s test of homogeneity of variance (p<0,05). The participants attended an interactive livestreamed music performance. In selecting the mode, tempo, and songs to be performed, recommendations were obtained from the Applied Music Therapies Association.The sessions, which lasted approximately one and a half hours, twice a week, have been completed within one month. The data collection process was conducted thrice as pretest, posttest, and follow-up. The posttest was performed immediately after the completion of the 4-week intervention, whereas the follow-up measurements were obtained 12 weeks later. To apprise the volunteers about their respective groups and elucidate the application procedure, mobile appointments and virtual meetings were arranged. The Perceived Stress Scale. Scale (PSS) was developed by Cohen, Kamarck, and Mermelstein (1983), and adapted to Turkish culture by Eskin et al. (2013) to determine the potential effects of sample stress and loneliness perception on sociodemographic and musical tendencies. In this study, the Cronbach's alpha coefficient of the scale was 0.82. The UCLA Loneliness Scale III. Scale is a widely used tool for assessing loneliness, which was developed by Russell et al. (1978). The psychometric properties of the UCLA Loneliness Scale III (UCLA-III) in Turkish culture were first investigated by Demir (1989). In this study, the 3rd revision of the scale developed by Durak and Senol Durak (2010) for Turkish culture was used. In this study, the Chronbach's alpha coefficient of the scale is 0.93.


Ege Universitesi


Geriatrics, Public Health, Psychiatric Nursing, Music Therapy, Isolation Stress, Social Wellbeing, Loneliness, COVID-19


Ege University Research Foundation