Music’s Use for Anesthesia and Analgesia


The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine




This review article provides an overview of published data regarding the involvement of music in anesthesia practice. Music is an important topic for research in different fields of anesthesiology. The use of music preoperatively is aimed at reducing anxiety, stress, and fear. However, the effect of music on perception of pain intraoperatively is controversial, according to studies of both adults and children undergoing various surgical procedures under general and/or regional anesthesia. In postoperative pain management, postanesthesia care, and neonatal intensive care, music can be a complementary method for reducing pain, anxiety, and stress. Music is a mild anxiolytic, but it is relatively ineffective when a pain stimulus is severe. However, music is inexpensive, easily administered, and free of adverse effects, and as such, can serve as complementary method for treating perioperative stress and for acute and chronic pain management, even though music’s effectiveness depends on each individual patient’s disposition and severity of pain stimulus. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Acute Pain; Adverse Effects; Anesthesia; Anxiety; Children; Chronic Pain; Fear; Hospital Setting; Infants; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neonatal Intensive Care; Newborn Infants; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU); Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Procedural Pain; Recorded Music Listening; Stress; Surgery; Surgical Patients

Indexed Terms

anesthesia; analgesia; pain perception; pain management; stimulus parameters; perioperative stress; Anxiety; Critical Care; Postoperative Pain; Perception; Perioperative Care; Postoperative Complications; Stress; Anesthesia (Feeling); Therapeutic Processes; Stress

Study Type

Editorials, Opinions, Position Papers

PubMed ID


Document Type