Music before an operation: less anxiety before the operation, less pain after


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Listening to music before, during or after surgery has a beneficial effect on patients, says a study in the British medical journal The Lancet. Music, whatever it is, decreases preoperative anxiety and postoperative pain, while facilitating recovery.

A team of British researchers scanned 72 surveys involving a total of 7,000 people. The effect on preoperative anxiety and postoperative pain is noticeable whether the music was heard before, during or after surgery, however with an advantage over music heard before surgery. intervention.


All the music tested (more than 4000 tracks in total) proved to be effective, even if the authors noted an increased benefit, but “not significant” for the pieces chosen by the patient. The effect was also seen under general anesthesia, but was somewhat greater when patients were conscious during the procedure. Music has also helped reduce the need for pain medication. However, it did not reduce the length of patient hospitalization.

Less pain, free: music has its place in the operating room

Doctor Catherine Meads of Brunel University (UK), who led the study, explained that the reduction in pain was about one-fifth on the pain scale which runs from 0 to 10, or a “clinically significant” reduction. For her, “music is a non-invasive, safe and inexpensive medium that should be accessible to anyone undergoing surgery”.