Music May Improve Recovery After Surgery: Study

By , Category : Health News

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Several recent studies have shown that music can have a positive impact on a wide range of things in the medical world, from helping surgeons improve incision closures to helping prevent epileptic seizures. Now, new research published in The Lancet suggests that patients who regularly listen to music before, after, or even during surgery experience less anxiety and pain compared to patients who aren’t exposed to music.

Researchers from Brunel University looked at 72 controlled trials involving nearly 7,000 adult patients who were undergoing a surgical procedure. All of the trials measured how hearing music before, during, or after the surgery impacted the patients’ recovery, specifically their perception of postoperative pain and anxiety, their desire for pain medication, and the duration of time spent in the hospital.

As expected, the findings showed that patients who listened to music (regardless of whether it was before, after, or during the procedure) reported significantly less pain and anxiety after their surgery, were less likely to ask for pain medication, and also had an increased sense of satisfaction post-surgery. Interestingly, even being under an anesthetic produced the same trend, albeit not as drastically as when the patients were awake during the surgery. However, the music didn’t seem to have a noticeable effect on the duration of hospital stay.

Study authors conclude that music may be a valuable tool—not to mention a safe, noninvasive, and cheap one—when incorporated into recovery therapies for patients in hospitals. That being said, it’s important to make sure that the music, especially when played during surgery, doesn’t interfere with the medical team’s ability to clearly communicate with one another.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Hole, J., et al., “Music as an aid for postoperative recovery in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” The Lancet 2015;, doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60169-6.
Whiteman, H., “Music may reduce pain, anxiety after surgery,” Medical News Today web site, August 13, 2015;


Sign up for the latest health news, tips and special product offers with our daily Free e-Letters, the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and the Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors.

Opt-in by entering your e-mail address below and clicking submit. Your e-mail will never be shared, sold or rented to anyone for promotional or advertising purposes, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and
Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors:

Soriyya Bawa, B.A.

About the Author, Browse Soriyya's Articles

Soriyya Bawa is a writer and editor specializing in health and wellness strategies, focusing specifically on providing natural, realistic anti-aging strategies that are proven to work for everyday men and women. Soriyya brings a wealth of both academic and practical experience to Doctors Health Press, having spent several years writing health, lifestyle, and beauty features for several national magazines and various different web sites. Her intuitive approach to health, beauty, and wellness means she is always on the lookout for... Read Full Bio »