Now that’s the way to recuperate! Scientists have found that listening to music before, during, or after a surgery could help them recover faster.
In a most comprehensive study by Brunel University and Queen Mary University of London involving almost 7000 patients, it was found that music significantly reduced pain and anxiety, and decreased the need for pain medication.
Moreover, when patients selected their own music there was a slightly greater (but non-significant) reduction in pain and use of pain relief.
Surprisingly, even listening to music while under general anaesthetic reduced patients’ levels of pain, although the effects were larger when patients were conscious. However, music did not reduce length of hospital stay.
Lead author Dr Catherine Meads said that music is a non-invasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery. Patients should be allowed to choose the type of music they would like to hear to maximise the benefit to their wellbeing. However, care needs to be taken that music does not interfere with the medical team’s communication.
The study is published in The Lancet.