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How music therapy may benefit surgery patients

Patients scheduled for a trip to the operating room may want to update their pre-procedure checklist to include "create surgery playlist." A review study (subscription required) conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky offers more evidence that listening to music can reduce patients' pain and aid in recovery.

In examining the use of music before, during and after surgery, researchers found that listening to tunes during all three stages proved beneficial. Overall, patients who listened to music were less anxious, required less sedative medication, recovered more quickly and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience. But while some studies show that listening to classical music could yield the most positive results, the latest findings underscore the importance of taking into account patients' musical tastes. Psych Central reports:

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.

Previously: The anxiety and pain reducing powers of Adele, Can music benefit cancer patients? and Prescription playlists for treating pain and depression?
Photo by William Brawley

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