Music Might Speed Up Surgical Recovery Times

A new study appearing in the Southern Medical Journal suggests that there might be a new way to recover more quickly from surgery and avoid staying in the hospital any longer than necessary.

The study, by researchers from the University of Kentucky (UK) found that music therapy can help surgery patients before, during, and after their procedure and could even lower pain and speed up recovery time.

"Music therapists have long known that music can be an effective tool to manage pain and anxiety. Here at UK, our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety," said Lori Gooding, UK director of music therapy and lead author of the study.

The authors took a look at the role of music in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative stages of the surgical process and determined that it was beneficial at all three stages. They determined that patients exposed to music therapy experienced less anxiety in the preoperative stages; they recovered more quickly in the postoperative stage, and that they needed less medication (such as sedatives) and reported better satisfaction with their overall experience.

In these cases, the music is typically chosen by trained experts who understand the science behind the therapy and therefore know what kinds of music to select in order to get the most out of the therapy. Generally, they create several playlists and ask the patient to choose from them.

These therapists consider such things as tempo, rhythm, and volume. Not surprisingly, slow and calming music created the best outcomes in this study, helping patients relax and in some cases even reducing their pain levels. These responses have the potential to speed up recovery times and save the patient the time, risk, and money involved in unnecessarily lengthy post-op hospital stays.

Photo: Pixabay

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