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Effect of favorite music on postoperative anxiety and pain

Wirkung von Lieblingsmusik auf postoperative Angst und Schmerz

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Music is one of the most commonly used non-pharmacological interventions to reduce anxiety. It helps patients overcome emotional and physical alienation, provides comfort and familiarity in an improved environment and offers a pleasant distraction from pain and anxiety. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of listening to preoperative favorite music on postoperative anxiety and pain.

Material and methods

This prospective, randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial included the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) I–III patients, aged 18–70 years, undergoing elective inguinal hernia surgery. Demographic data and anxiety status were recorded. Anxiety status was measured using the Spielberger state-trait anxiety inventory form 1 (STAI-1) and state-trait anxiety inventory form 2 (STAI-2). After recording baseline heart rate, blood pressure and STAI levels, patients were randomly allocated to the music group (Group M) or control group (Group C). Patients in Group M listened to their favorite music using headphones and patients in the control group received standard care. The STAI‑1 was repeated after surgery and the numeric rating scale (NRS) and patient satisfaction were measured.


A total of 117 patients were included. Demographic data, educational status, and previous surgical history were similar between the groups. Mean preoperative STAI‑1 and STAI‑2 scores were similar between the groups (p > 0.05). Mean postoperative STAI‑1 score was significantly lower in Group M than in Group C (39 [range 35–43] vs. 41 [range 37–43], p < 0.05). Moreover, the change in the STAI score was significantly higher in Group M compared with Group C (p < 0.05). The difference of hemodynamic measurements pre-music to post-music was significant between Group M and Group C (p = 0.001). The NRS scores remained similar between the groups. Patient satisfaction score was significantly higher in Group M (p = 0.017).


Listening to patient-preferred favorite music preoperatively reduced anxiety, regulated hemodynamic parameters, and improved postoperative patient satisfaction. Reduced anxiety was not associated with reduced pain.



Musik ist eine der am häufigsten angewendeten nicht-pharmakologischen Interventionen zur Reduzierung von Angstzuständen. Sie hilft Patienten, emotionale und physische Entfremdungen zu überwinden, bietet Komfort und Vertrautheit in einer angenehmen Umgebung und lenkt wohltuend von Schmerz und Angst ab. In der aktuellen Studie sollten die Auswirkungen des präoperativen Hörens von „Lieblingsmusik“ auf die postoperative Angst und den Schmerz untersucht werden.

Materialien und Methoden

In diese prospektiv-randomisierte, einfach verblindete, kontrollierte Studie wurden Amerikanische Gesellschaft für Anästhesisten(ASA)-I- bis -III-Patienten im Alter von 18 bis 70 Jahren einbezogen, die sich einer elektiven Leistenbruchoperation unterzogen. Demografische Daten und Angstzustände wurden erfasst. Der Angststatus wurde unter Verwendung der Formulare 1 (STAI-1) und 2 (STAI-2) des Spielberger-Staats-Trait-Angstinventars gemessen. Nach Aufzeichnung von Herzfrequenz‑, Blutdruck- und STAI-Ausgangswerten wurden die Patienten nach dem Zufallsprinzip der Musikgruppe (Gruppe M) oder der Kontrollgruppe (Gruppe C) zugeordnet. Patienten der Gruppe M hörten ihre Lieblingsmusik mit Kopfhörern und Patienten der Kontrollgruppe erhielten eine Standardversorgung ohne Musik. STAI‑1, der NRS-Score und die Zufriedenheit wurden postoperativ gemessen.


Insgesamt wurden 117 Patienten in die Studie eingeschlossen. Demografische Daten, Bildungshintergrund und Operationsvorgeschichte waren in den Gruppen ähnlich. Die mittleren präoperativen STAI-1- und STAI-2-Scores waren zwischen den Gruppen ähnlich (p > 0,05). Der mittlere postoperative STAI-1-Score war in Gruppe M signifikant niedriger als in Gruppe C (39 [35–43] vs. 41 [37–43]; p < 0,05). Darüber hinaus war die Veränderung des STAI-Scores in Gruppe M signifikant höher als in Gruppe C (p = 0,001). Die Veränderung der hämodynamischen Messungen vor bis nach der Musik war zwischen Gruppe M und Gruppe C signifikant (p = 0,001). Die der numerische Rating-Skala (NRS) waren zwischen den Gruppen ähnlich. Die Zufriedenheit der Patienten war in der M-Gruppe signifikant höher (p = 0,017).


Das Hören von Lieblingsmusik reduziert die Angst, reguliert hämodynamische Parameter und verbessert die postoperative Patientenzufriedenheit. Eine verminderte Angst war nicht mit verminderten Schmerzen verbunden.

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Author information

Surgical and medical practices: F.K.A., S.A., concept: F.K.A., J.E., design: F.K.A., J.E., data collection or processing: F.K.A., S.A., M.T.A, analysis or interpretation: F.K.A., S.A, J.E., literature search: F.K.A., M.T.A, writing: F.K.A., S.A., M.T.A., J.E.

Correspondence to F. Kavak Akelma.

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Conflict of interest

F. Kavak Akelma, S. Altınsoy, M. T. Arslan and J. Ergil declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants or on human tissue were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1975 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Approval was obtained from the Ethical Committee of the Ministry of Health Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey (Ethical Committee 15.10.2018 No: 55/16).

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Kavak Akelma, F., Altınsoy, S., Arslan, M.T. et al. Effect of favorite music on postoperative anxiety and pain. Anaesthesist (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00101-020-00731-8

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  • Music
  • Postoperative pain
  • Anxiety
  • STAI
  • Patient satisfaction


  • Musik
  • Postoperativer Schmerz
  • Angst
  • STAI
  • Patientenzufriedenheit