Music can reduce the anxiety and pain of invasive surgery, according to an analysis of all relevant randomized controlled trials published since 1980.
Ninety-two trials with a total of 7385 patients were included in the BJS (British Journal of Surgery) analysis. Music interventions significantly decreased anxiety and pain compared with controls, equivalent to a decrease of 21 mm for anxiety and 10 mm for pain on a 100-mm visual analogue scale.
There was no significant association between the effect of music interventions and age, sex, choice and timing of music, and type of anaesthesia.
"This result makes it now possible to create guidelines for the implementation of music interventions around surgical procedures," said lead author Dr. Rosalie Kühlmann, of Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, in The Netherlands.