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Music Found to Soothe Surgery Patients

Music Found to Soothe Surgery PatientsMusic therapy can be beneficial to patients before, during and after a surgical procedure, reducing pain and recovery time, according to a new study.

A new study review published by researchers from the University of Kentucky in the Southern Medical Journal examined the use of music in the preoperative and postoperative stages of the surgical process, as well as during the surgery itself.

Music was shown to have positive results in all three stages, according to the researchers, who noted that patients were less anxious before the procedure and recovered more quickly after being exposed to music during and after the operation.

The patients also required less sedative medication and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience.

“Music therapists have long known that music can be an effective tool to manage pain and anxiety,” said Dr. Lori Gooding, the university’s director of music therapy and lead author on the review. “Here at UK, our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety.”

The researchers say that music selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines should be followed to maximize the positive effect on patients, however the patient’s musical tastes should still be considered.

The researchers suggest that several playlists be offered so the patient can choose the one that best suits their tastes.

The researchers also note that the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music should be carefully controlled to maximize the positive effect. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients, they said.

UK began providing music therapy for patients in Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Chandler Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Behavioral Health in October 2010.

Based on the findings from this review, Gooding and her team have begun implementing two pilot programs in the pre-op unit at UK, one for procedural support/pain and the other for patient distress.

“Our goal is to decrease patient pain and anxiety, as well as improve satisfaction with the surgical experience,” Gooding said. “We also hope the program benefits staff by allowing them to do their jobs more easily and effectively.”

Source: University of Kentucky


Man with headphones on smiling photo by shutterstock.

Music Found to Soothe Surgery Patients

Janice Wood

Janice Wood is a long-time writer and editor who began working at a daily newspaper before graduating from college. She has worked at a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites, covering everything from aviation to finance to healthcare.

APA Reference
Wood, J. (2018). Music Found to Soothe Surgery Patients. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 20 Nov 2012)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.