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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2017 Sep;61(8):895-903. doi: 10.1111/aas.12935. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Intraoperative music application in children and adolescents - a pilot study.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Children's Research Centre, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.



Hospitalization, surgery and anaesthesia may lead to new-onset maladaptive behaviour, emotional distress and trauma. This pilot study aims to investigate the influence of intraoperatively applied music on post-operative behaviour in children and adolescents.


Children with an ASA physical state classification of I or II, aged from 4 to 16 years and scheduled for elective circumcision or inguinal hernia repair under combined general and caudal anaesthesia were included. The children were randomized into two groups. They wore headphones during surgery, and were either exposed to music or not. All involved staff were blinded. Post-operative behaviour was documented by parents on day 7, 14 and 28 after surgery, using a questionnaire adapted from the "Post Hospitalization Behavioural Questionnaire" (PHBQ). Overall occurrence of at least one item indicating maladaptive behaviour was the primary outcome. Data are presented as median (interquartile range).


In total, 135 children aged 6.6 (5.3-8.5) years, weighing 22 (19-29) kg, were included, with 112 completed questionnaires returned. Overall occurrence of at least one maladaptive item was lower in the music group, with a significantly lower incidence on day 7 (51% vs. 77% in controls; P < 0.01).


Intraoperative music application in children undergoing minor surgical procedures may reduce the incidence of post-operative maladaptive behaviour within the first week.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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