Could Music be the Key to Successful Eye Surgery?

Undergoing eye surgery, such as cataract surgery, while awake can be a very stressful event. A new study suggests that patients who listen to relaxing music before eye surgery may feel less anxious and need less sedation.

Researchers form the Cochin University Hospital in France wanted to find a way to help patients have less anxiety during eye surgery and minimize their need of sedation. Pre-surgical music therapy is not a new idea, but this study sought to answer more specific questions regarding the impact of music on patients.

Gilles Guerrier, M.D., and his colleagues divided 62 cataract surgery patients into two groups. One group listened to music through headphones before their cataract surgery, and the other group did not listen to music before surgery. All the patients had the same type of cataract surgery so the results could be accurately compared.

Each participant in the group that listened to music was allowed to choose from 16 different recording styles including classical, piano, Cuban, flamenco and jazz. The tracks were all instrumental pieces which progressively decreased in tempo and number of instruments used.

Dr. Guerrier and his team used a surgical fear questionnaire (SFQ) to analyze participants’ anxiety levels both before and after their eye surgery. Patients also took an overall satisfaction survey as well. Anxiety levels of patients in the music group dropped, with a score of 23 out of 100. The non-music group had significantly higher anxiety scores, averaging 65 out of 100.

The music group also had a higher level of satisfaction than the non-music group, and they required minimal sedation during their procedures. Dr. Guerrier and his team concluded that music is a non-invasive and inexpensive way to lower levels of anxiety and reduce dependence on anesthesia.

Dr. Guerrier now wants to study the impact of music listening in patients who are having other medical procedures like orthopedics, which require regional anesthesia. Another study will answer the question of whether music can reduce pain that patients experience after a major surgery (Source: Tech Times).


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