Listening to Music Does Not Reduce Pain During Sigmoidoscopy


European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology




OBJECTIVE: Up to 40% of the sigmoidoscopies are considered painful by patients. Nonpharmacological intervention would be attractive, as sedation and analgesia carry the risk of side-effects and increase procedure-related costs. Music might have the potential of pain reduction, but its effect during sigmoidoscopy has not been established yet. To study whether listening to music reduces experienced pain during sigmoidoscopy. METHODS: Consecutive patients, above 18 years of age, undergoing sigmoidoscopy without sedation or analgesia and who gave their informed consent were included in this study. Patients in the music group listened to their preferred music (classical, jazz, English or Dutch Popular) during the sigmoidoscopy. The control group received care as usual. The outcome measures were pain intensity during sigmoidoscopy (measured with a 100-mm-long visual analogue scale) and the proportion of patients with at least moderate pain during sigmoidoscopy (pain intensity score of 50 mm or higher). RESULTS: The music groups consisted of 153 patients, the control group of 154 patients. The mean pain intensity + or - standard deviation was 36 + or - 27 mm in the music group and 40 + or - 29 in the control group (P=0.27) during sigmoidoscopy. The proportion of patients with at least moderate pain during sigmoidoscopy was 29 and 37% in the respective groups (P=0.12). CONCLUSION: Listening to music by patients did not reduce pain intensity during sigmoidoscopy. As a consequence, music during sigmoidoscopy is not recommended for this purpose.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Hospital Setting; Invasive Medical Procedures; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Pain Severity; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Pain; Pain Management; Sigmoidoscopy; Treatment Failure

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type