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Surgery Research

Jonas, Suzanne. (1988) Effects of Music on Day Stay Surgery and Personality Type.

Doctoral Dissertation for University of Mass. conducted at Baystate Medical Hospital, Springfield MA

89 patients, ages 20-60

87 classified as Type A2 as Type B

19 classified as borderline Type A

65% chose popular; 35% chose classical – tapes were prepared by Helen Bonny, RMT.

1. Classical listeners thought the music was more pleasant than the popular music listeners.

2. Listeners responded highly positive to having music before and as they awoke from anesthesiacalmness, distractibility, pleasantness

3. Most listeners would elect to have music again in the future.

4. Whether one listened to familiar music or not did not significantly affect the amount of calmness felt, ability of the music to be distracting, perceived pleasantness of the music, listening ability, amount of imagery stimulated or response to recovery

5. The higher the Type A score and Emotional Lability score, the less disturbing the music became of those who did not receive their preference.Preference listeners consistently found the music more disturbing and bothersome the more Type A they were.

6. Most listeners felt the music had a positive effect on their recovery

7. Staff found many of those who continued to listen to the music post surgery difficult to get up and get going. Implication is that recovery music needed to have a faster tempo


Sobel, D.S. & Ornstein, R. (1996).The healthy mind, healthy body handbook.

“In an analysis of over 190 studies of psychological preparation for surgery, 80% of the patients showed significant benefits: quicker recovery fewer complications, less post-surgical pain, less need for pain medication, less anxiety and depression, and an average of 1.5 days less in hospital.”


Jonas, S., & Penhos, J. (1989). Emergency Series with Three Surgery Patients. Breakthrough, VII (2).

Significantly decreased pre-op anxiety, markedly shortened hospitalization, less use of pain medication, and a quicker return to normal activity with the use of the 5 tape surgery program from The Monroe Institute.


Kliempt, P., Ruta, D., Ogston, S., Landeck, A. and Martay, K. (1999 ). Hemispheric-synchronisation during anaesthesia: a double-blind randomised trial using audiotapes for intra-operative nociception control.Anaesthesia, 54: 769–773. Patients to whom hemispheric-synchronised sounds were played under general anaesthesia required significantly less fentanyl compared with patients listening to classical music or blank tape (mean values: 28 μg, 124 μg and 126 μg, respectively) (p < 0.001).


Lewis, A., Osborn, I., Roth, R. (2004). The effect of hemispheric synchronization on intraoperative analgesia. Anesth Analg. Feb;98(2):533-6This new double-blinded randomized study set out to improve on the accuracy of Kliempt et al. that used hemodynamics alone to direct opioid administration during surgery for numerous types of procedures. This study restricted the type of cases to two common surgical procedures and compared analgesia requirements for patients who had the same procedure. This study also used BIS* to ensure an equivalent depth of hypnosis in addition to using hemodynamics as a determinant of analgesia requirement. This study compared fentanyl administration in micrograms per kilogram per minute, whereas Kliempt et al. compared total fentanyl administration in micrograms. These intended modifications to the previous study’s protocol were done to produce a more reliable and controlled study. Bariatric patients who listened to Hemi-Sync® required one-third less fentanyl than the control group. One-level lumbar disk surgery patients in the experimental and control groups required similar amounts of fentanyl.


R. Padmanabhan1, A. J. Hildreth2, D. Laws.(09/2005). A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgeryAnaesthesia Volume 60, Issue 9, pages 874–877.Anxiety was measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire and compared binaural beat audio (Binaural Group) with an identical soundtrack but without these added tones (Audio Group) and with a third group who received no specific intervention (No Intervention Group). Mean [95% confidence intervals] decreases in anxiety scores were 26.3%[19–33%] in the Binaural Group (p=0.001 vs. Audio Group, p < 0.0001 vs. No Intervention Group), 11.1%[6–16%] in the Audio Group (p=0.15 vs. No Intervention Group) and 3.8%[0–7%] in the No Intervention Group. Binaural beat audio has the potential to decrease acute pre-operative anxiety significantly.


Tusek DL, Church JM, Strong SA, Grass JA, Fazio VW. (1997 ). Guided imagery: a significant advance in the care of patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery. Dis Colon Rectum. Feb;40(2):172-8.Music listening with guided imagery before, during and after surgery to determine its effectiveness in reducing patients’ anxiety levels. Subjects in the experimental group listened to guided imagery tapes for three consecutive days prior to surgery. They also listened to music-only tapes during induction of anesthesia before surgery, during surgery and again after surgery in the recovery room. In addition, they listened to guided imagery tapes each day for six days after surgery. Before surgery, anxiety increased in the control group but decreased in the guided imagery group (P<.001). Other findings showed that patients receiving music listening and guided imagery required less pain medication, had a shorter hospital stay, felt less anxious, and rated their level of pain as considerably lower than did patients not receiving these interventions. Researchers concluded that music with guided imagery significantly reduced postoperative anxiety, pain, and narcotic requirements and increased patient satisfaction.


Vichitvejpaisal, P. Soothing sounds[binaural beats music mix] during cataract surgery reduces patient anxiety – 1/12/2012 presented 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.


Research Findings Using Guided Imagery for Preparing for Surgery. August, 2006


Good M, Anderson GC, Stanton-Hick M, Grass JA, Makii M. (2002). Relaxation and music reduce pain after gynecologic surgery. Pain Management Nursing.;3:61-70. Good M, Anderson GC, Ahn S, Cong X, Stanton-Hicks M. Relaxation and music reduce pain following intestinal surgery. (2005). Research in Nursing and Health, 28:240-251.


Interventions using unassisted music listening before surgery


Many studies have been conducted that demonstrate the effects of unassisted music listening on a person’s anxiety level in the surgical area. Veerheecke & Troch (1980) found that listening to sedative background music in the waiting room before surgery helped 52.2% of the patients feel less anxious, with 22.3% reporting feeling neutral, 22.3% not noticing the music and 3.2% reporting a negative reaction to the music. In another study, Daub & Kirschner-Hermanns (1988) compared the effects of music, thalamonal and no premedication on reduction of preoperative anxiety. Results indicated that subjects who received no medication and no music listening before surgery showed a consistent level of anxiety from pre- to post-tests as measured by the STAI and the Erlanger-Angst-Skala (EAS) test. Subjects who received thalamonal one hour before surgery had an increase of anxiety over this period caused by the induction of medication. And subjects who listened to music 45 minutes before surgery exhibited a reduction in anxiety from pre- to post-test measures. Differences between the thalamonal group and the music group were significant at the P<.01 level. Researchers concluded that matching the music to each individual’s preference was a very important factor and that satisfaction with the music depended on the persons’ personality and attitude toward music. In a similar study, Gaberson (1995) had subjects, who were scheduled for elective surgery, listen to 20-minutes of a humorous tape or 20-minutes of preselected sedative music. She found no significant differences between the groups in levels of anxiety from pre- to post-tests as measured by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Several patients reported they would have preferred being given a choice between listening to music or listening to a humorous tape.


Interventions using unassisted music listening during surgery 


Unassisted music listening has also been studied with patients undergoing elective procedures using regional anesthesia to determine music’s effect on decreasing anxiety levels during surgery. Eisenman & Cohen (1995) studied patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. Patients reported that music listening during surgery helped make the time pass more quickly, masked background noises and diverted attention away from the surgical procedure. Anesthetists also reported that patients required less anesthesia, were calmer, and maintained more stable pulse rates and blood pressures. In a similar study, Cruise, Chung, Yogendran & Little (1997) studied elderly patients who were scheduled for cataract extraction surgery. Patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Subjects in group one listened to relaxing suggestions; group two listened to white noise (level of normal noise in a quiet environment); group three listened to operating room noise recorded during a cataract operation; and group four listened to relaxing, classical music with sounds of nature. After surgery, no significant differences were noted in vital signs between any of the groups. No significant differences were found in STAI or VAS scores among the groups before or after surgery. Patients in group four did report being more satisfied with the surgery experience and feeling more relaxed than was reported by other subjects. Results of this study showed a subjective improvement in anxiety with music listening but lacked objective evidence to support music listening as an effective medium to decrease physiological responses caused by stress.


     Article Archive


  • Day Stay Surgery & Personality Type

  • Meta Analysis of pre surgery preparation

  • Emergency Series with 3 surgery patients

  • Binaurals for intra op

  • Binaurals for intra op restudied

  • Binaurals in Day Stay

  • Guided Imagery & Colorectal surgery

  • Binaurals & Cataract Surgery

  • Guided Imagery & Surgery Research

  • Misc. citings

  • Purchase Surgical Support CD Set  [scroll down the linked page]

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