Playing music post-op can ease pain, new study confirms

A deep dive into existing data on how music affects patients after surgery has affirmed that playing tunes after an operation can indeed help patients reduce pain and anxiety.

The systemic review, which was published in The Lancet, included 73 randomized clinical trials that involved music and adults undergoing surgery.

"As [the] studies themselves were small, they really didn't find all that much," Catherine Meads, PhD, one of the study's authors, told NPR. "But once we put them all together, we had much more power to find whether music worked or not."

According to the study, music reduced postoperative pain, anxiety and analgesia use while increasing patient satisfaction.

"Music could be offered as a way to help patients reduce pain and anxiety during the postoperative period," the study concludes.

While music can help ease pain post-op, it is worth noting that other studies, like this one, have found that music playing in the OR could be a distraction to clinicians and could put patients at risk.

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