A new study review published by the University of Kentucky found that music therapy can be beneficial to patients before, during and after a surgical procedure and may reduce pain and recovery time.
Published in the Southern Medical Journal, the review examined the use of music in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative stages of the surgical process, and music was shown to have positive results in all three stages. Patients were less anxious before the procedure and recovered more quickly and satisfactorily after by being exposed to music intra- and post-operation. They 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 Lori Gooding, UK 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."
Some research suggests that music-based interventions can be effective in reducing anxiety, pain perception and sedative intake. Music that is selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines for music selection should be followed in order to maximize its positive effect on patients, though the patient's musical tastes should still be considered. It is suggested that several "playlists" be offered and the patient can choose one that best suits their tastes.
Characteristics of the music are also important in effective music therapy. Among other features, the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music can be carefully controlled in order to maximize the positive effect that music can have. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients. Data proposes that music could be beneficial in reducing cost and length of stay in intensive care units.