Patient anxiety can be debilitating before surgery of any kind. We’ve known for a long time that listening to calm, comforting, soothing music before surgery could do the same thing as the drugs…and without the risk of adverse reactions. Overly and unnecessarily sedating the patient should be avoided. Today another study appeared also documenting this!
Biol Res Nurs. 2011 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]
Evidence That Music Listening Reduces Preoperative Patients’ Anxiety.
Lee KC, Chao YH, Yiin JJ, Hsieh HY, Dai WJ, Chao YF.
Background: Patients often exhibit preoperative fear and anxiety that may influence the process of induction and recovery from anesthesia. Music is thought to be an alternative to medication for relief of fear and anxiety. Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to explore the feasibility of using heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) for evaluating the efficacy of music listening to relieve the patients’ anxiety during their stay in the operation room waiting area and to compare the HRV measures with subjective Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores. Methods: In total, 140 patients were randomly assigned to the experimental (n = 64) or control group (n = 76). The intervention consisted of a 10-min period of exposure to relaxing music delivered through headphones. Anxiety levels were measured by VAS (a 10-point scale) and 5 min of HRV monitoring before and after the music intervention. Results: The music group demonstrated significant reductions in VAS scores, mean HR, low-frequency HRV, and low- to high-frequency ratio and an increase in high-frequency HRV, while patients in the control group showed no changes. The subjective results of patients’ VAS anxiety scores were consistent with the objective results of HRV parameters. Conclusions: Listening to music can significantly lower the anxiety levels of patients before surgery. The frequency-domain parameters of HRV can be indicators for monitoring the change in anxiety level of preoperative patients.