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J Perianesth Nurs. 2009 Dec;24(6):370-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2009.10.013.

Music as a nursing intervention for postoperative pain: a systematic review.

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  • 1University College in Dalarna, Department of Health and Social Sciences, Falun, Sweden.


The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the effect of music on postoperative pain. A search for scientific articles was conducted using online databases. Included were quantitative studies published from 1998 through 2007 that considered the effect of music interventions on postoperative pain in adult patients. After the search and appraisal of quality, 18 studies were included in the review. The results in 15 of the studies included indicated a significant positive effect of music on postoperative pain. Four studies found that the use of analgesics was lower for the intervention groups. The patients in the studies were scheduled for different kinds of surgery and assessments and the interventions were performed at different times. Various types of music were used, mostly chosen by the researchers. The conclusion is that music can be used as an adjuvant for the relief of postoperative pain.

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