If you ever doubted the powerful effects of music, get this: researchers have discovered that music has a tremendous positive impact on surgery patients, starting from the moment they are on the operating table.
A team of British researchers discovered that playing music to the patient before, after and during the surgery helps with reducing anxiety, levels of pain and the need to be medicated with painkillers. Almost 7,000 surgical patients were part of the study, with medical data collected from 73 trials focusing on the benefits of music.
Results of the analysis confirmed that the best results occurred when the patients were able to choose what music they would listen to before they had to go under for the operation. However, it turned out that letting the music play even when the patient would be under general anesthetic had a positive influence on the pain levels.
Dr Catherine Meads, from Brunel University, the senior researcher whose findings were revealed in The Lancet medical journal, said that it is a loss that so few doctors make use of music in their routine surgeries, because they deprive the patients of an easier postoperative recovery.
It makes sense that doctors would be skeptic over the procedure’s authentic effects, especially because there is a general lack of feedback from those who do use it. At the same time, professional also point to issues of budget and the hassle of integrating the practice into their daily work.
Dr Meads expressed her hope that this study will offer grounds for more doctors to appreciate the positive impact of music. She also added that music in the operating room should not interfere in any way with the proper communication of the medical team.
Meanwhile, this is the chief concern of health experts who oppose to music being played during medical practices – especially when it comes to the operating theatre. Another piece of research issued in the Journal of Advanced Nursing warned that music might impair the communication between surgeons and nurses, which would throw off the entire procedure.
The study followed several surgical teams on camera during their surgeries. When music was played, doctors were often in the situation of repeating their requests to nurses, and some teams evidently expressed frustration or tension because of the hindered communication.
Even though the general perception of music in operating theatres is generally shaped by the movies we see – where smooth music is always played in the background – researchers agree that this decision should be made in agreement with the entire team, after they have taken into account both the benefits and the risks.
Image Source: Job Tour Medical