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J Clin Nurs. 2012 Mar;21(5-6):708-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03829.x. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Effects of listening to music on pain intensity and pain distress after surgery: an intervention.

Author information

1
Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland. anne.vaajoki@pp.inet.fi

Abstract

AIMS:

To evaluate the effects of music listening on pain intensity and pain distress on the first and second postoperative days in abdominal surgery patients and the long-term effects of music on the third postoperative day.

BACKGROUND:

Music has been found to relieve pain intensity in surgery patients. There are only a few studies on music intervention in abdominal surgery. Music intervention studies assessing multidimensional pain such as pain intensity and pain distress are also scarce.

DESIGN:

Prospective clinical study with two parallel groups.

METHODS:

Patients undergoing elective abdominal surgery (n = 168) were divided into either a music group (n = 83) or a control group (n = 85). Patients assessed pain intensity and pain distress in bed rest, during deep breathing and in shifting position once in the evening of the operation day and on the first and second postoperative days in the morning, at noon and in the evening. On the third postoperative day, the patients assessed their pain intensity and pain distress only once.

RESULTS:

In the music group, the patients' pain intensity and pain distress in bed rest, during deep breathing and in shifting position were significantly lower on the second postoperative day compared with control group of patients. On the third postoperative day, when long-term effects of music on pain intensity and pain distress were assessed, there were no significant differences between music and control groups.

CONCLUSION:

This study demonstrates that the use of music alleviates pain intensity and pain distress in bed rest, during deep breathing and in shifting position after abdominal surgery on the second postoperative day. Music intervention is safe, inexpensive and easily used to improve the healing environment for abdominal surgery patients.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Music intervention should be offered as an adjunct alternative to pharmacological pain relief after abdominal surgery in nursing practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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