Nilsson et al. (2003) Analgesia Following Music and Therapeutic Suggestions in the PACU in Ambulatory Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial

literature type:

journal article


U. Nilsson, N. Rawal, B. Enqvist, and M. Unosson. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica. 2003; Vol. 47, No. 3: pp 278-283.


This study was designed to determine whether music (M), or music in combination with therapeutic suggestions (M/TS) could improve the postoperative recovery in the immediate postoperative in daycare surgery.

One-hundred and eighty-two unpremedicated patients who underwent varicose vein or open inguinal hernia repair surgery under general anaesthesia were randomly assigned to (a) listening to music (b) music in combination with therapeutic suggestions or (c) blank tape in the immediate postoperative period. The surgical technique, anaesthesia and postoperative analgesia were standardized. Analgesia, the total requirement of morphine, nausea, fatigue, well-being, anxiety, headache, urinary problems, heart rate and oxygen saturation were studied as outcome variables.

Pain intensity (VAS) was significantly lower (P = 0.002) in the M (2.1), and the M/TS (1.9) group compared with the control group (2.9) and a higher oxygen saturation in M (99.2%) and M/TS (99.2%) group compared with the control (98.0%), P < 0.001, were found. No differences were noted in the other outcome variables.

This controlled study has demonstrated that music with or without therapeutic suggestions in the early postoperative period has a beneficial effect on patients' experience of analgesia. Although statistically significant, the improvement in analgesia is modest in this group of patients with low overall pain levels.


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