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Dermatol Surg. 2013 Feb;39(2):298-305. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12047. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Music reduces patient anxiety during Mohs surgery: an open-label randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Many patients undergoing Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) experience anxiety and stress. Although music has been proven to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in other fields of medicine, scant research investigates the effect of music on anxiety during MMS.


To determine whether music can reduce anxiety in patients undergoing MMS.


An open-labeled randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess anxiety before and after listening to music. Subjects undergoing MMS were randomly allocated to listen to self-selected music (n = 50) or to have surgery without music (n = 50). Anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and on a visual analog scale (VAS).


Subjects in the music group experienced statistically significantly lower STAI and VAS scores than those in the control group. STAI and VAS scores were significantly lower in subjects who underwent MMS for the first time. Anxiety measures did not correlate with sex or type of skin cancer.


Listening to self-selected music reduces anxiety in patients undergoing MMS, especially those who undergo MMS for the first time. Presenting patients the opportunity to listen to music is a simple strategy to minimize anxiety during MMS.

© 2013 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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