Listening to Music Lessens the Stress of Surgery

By Gary Cutlack on at

Having your tunes on throughout the operating process might help reduces the stress of surgery, with findings suggesting those who enjoy music while having lumps cut off them also need less post-op pain relief.

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London made the claim in the Lancet, suggesting that the calming effect of music even works while patients are out cold under anaesthetic.

The summary says there's no difference in outcome from different genres of music, so German heavy metal works just as well as the classical options, explaining: "Music reduced postoperative pain, anxiety, and analgesia use, and increased patient satisfaction, but length of stay did not differ. Subgroup analyses showed that choice of music and timing of delivery made little difference to outcomes."

Lead author Dr Catherine Meads says we need to put aside our cynicism and insist on playing Girls Aloud's greatest hits when next in hospital, telling the BBC: "Currently music is not used routinely during surgery to help patients in their post-operative recovery. The lack of uptake is often down to the scepticism of professionals as to whether it genuinely works, and of course issues of budget and the integration into daily practice." [The Lancet via BBC]

Image credit: Surgery from Shutterstock