The major finding was that music listening leading to relaxation resulted in higher levels of oxytocin, SaO2, PaO2, and reduction in mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate in the music group. However the drawback is that only one type of music was used and although this music was described as soft, soothing and comforting by most patients, music preference may have some effect on impact. Secondly, the nurses were not blinded towards assignment status and there could be observer bias. The sample size was also relatively small.
Results of these five studies suggest that music does indeed have a pain reducing effect during the post-operative period, either by distracting or relaxing the patient. This effect in turn leads to reduction in anxiety levels and better ambulation. It can be administered in a variety of ways and some may be more comfortable than the other (microphones/headphones versus music pillow). Also patient preference in music selection is important as different people perceive music differently and the effect on them may be different. Putting together results from the above studies allows for evaluation of music on a variety of surgeries and age groups, and all point in favor of including music as part of standard post-operative care as it not only augments the actions of analgesia but also results in reduction in the requirement of analgesia, which in turn leads to less sedation which may be critical post-delivery and for ambulation purposes. Also side-effects such a nausea, allergies and addiction are reduced. Music therapy is safe, non-invasive and in-expensive and ideal there is evidence that it is also effective.
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