British scientists established on Thursday that listening to music before, during and after surgery eases the pain of the patient, reduces anxiety and minimizes the need for painkilling drugs.
After evaluating results from around 7,000 patients, the researchers concluded that people undergoing surgery should even be given the opportunity to select the music they prefer to hear to capitalize on the benefit.
However, they were quick to warn that the music should not get in the way of the medical team’s communication during the surgery.
Catherine Meads from Brunel University, who co-headed the study said, "Music is a non-invasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery."
The panel performed a meta-analysis of all available randomized attempts focusing on how music works, and compared the results to typical care or other non-drug intercessions such as relaxation and massage in making recovery effectual in adults after surgeries.
The outcomes, published in The Lancet journal, established that patients were considerably less nervous after operations and reported more contentment after listening to some music. They also asked for less pain-relieving drugs and reported less pain than the controls.
While the research established that listening to some music seemed effective at any time, the trend indicated that the outcomes were better if the patients listened to it before surgery.
Further, the research established that there was a larger reduction in pain when the patients were given the opportunity to choose their own music.
According to Martin Hirsch of Queen Mary University of London, who co-headed the study, "We have known since the time of Florence Nightingale that listening to music has a positive impact on patients during surgery, by making them feel calmer and reducing pain." Explaining the background of the study, he added, "However, it's taken pulling together all the small studies ... into one robust meta-analysis to really prove it works."
Paul Glasziou of Australia's Bond University observed that the outcomes held an obvious message: "Music is a simple and cheap intervention," read his comment in The Lancet. "A drug with similar effects might generate substantial marketing," he added.
The panel now intends to make a follow-up pilot scheme that will introduce music at The Royal London Hospital for women having hysteroscopy and female patients having Caesarean sections.
Patients will be required to present their playlist on a gadget of their choosing to be linked to a pillow with integral speakers, and the scientific researchers will then evaluate the efficiency of introducing this in practice.