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Recent Research on Issues Regarding music in the PACU

July 29th, 2010 · No Comments · music and the brain

Part of my job involves reviewing, collecting and commenting on recent research in the many specialties of Music Medicine.  I thought you’d definitely want to see this one!  Please add your own comments and feel free to ask me any questions that come to mind!  Thank you!

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2009 Aug;25(4):208-13. Epub 2009 May 14.

Patients’ perception of music versus ordinary sound in a postanaesthesia care unit: a randomised crossover trial.

Fredriksson AC, Hellström L, Nilsson U.

Dep. Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Malmoe University Hospital, Sweden.


We performed an experimental single-blind crossover design study in a postanaesthesia care unit (PACU): (i) to test the hypothesis that patients will experience a higher degree of wellbeing if they listen to music compared to ordinary PACU sounds during their early postoperative care, (ii) to determine if there is a difference over time, and (iii) to evaluate the importance of the acoustic environment and whether patients prefer listening to music during their stay. Two groups received a three-phase intervention: one group (n=23) experienced music-ordinary sound-music and the second group (n=21) experienced ordinary sound-music-ordinary sound. Each period lasted 30 min, and after each period the patients assessed their experience of the sound. The results demonstrated a significant difference (p<0.001) between groups in the proportions of patients reporting that the acoustic environment was of great importance for their wellbeing during the three-phase intervention, and most participants (n=36 versus n=8) noticed that they were exposed to different sounds during the PACU period. The results also revealed that most participants (n=32) preferred listening to music versus listening to ordinary sound (n=3) while in the PACU (p<0.001). These findings promote use of listening to music to establish a healing environment for patients in a postanaesthesia care unit.


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