Korean and American Music Reduces Pain in Korean Women After Gynecologic Surgery


M. Good
S. Ahn


Pain Management Nursing




American music has been found to relieve pain in adults in several countries but has not been tested in Korea. Korean women have reported that they would like American music as well as Korean folk songs and religious music sung in Korean. The study purpose was to pilot-test the effects of music on pain after gynecologic surgery in Korean women and to compare pain relief between those who chose American or Korean music. Using a quasiexperimental pretest-posttest design, 73 South Korean women on a preoperative unit were assigned by day of the week to receive music (n = 34; 47%) or no music (n = 39; 53%). The music group chose among Korean (ballads and religious and popular songs) and American (soft slow piano and orchestra) music and heard it for 15 minutes at four time points (postoperatively), whereas the controls rested in bed. They marked VAS Sensation and Distress of Pain scales before and after each test. The two groups were similar on pretest pain. When controlling for pretest pain, MANCOVA indicated that there was significantly less posttest pain in those with music plus analgesics than those with analgesics alone at three of the four tests: p = .04 to .001. Two-thirds in the music group (n = 21; 62%) chose Korean music and one-third (n = 13; 38%) chose American, with no difference in pain: both were effective. In addition to analgesics, music can be used to reduce postoperative pain in Korean women. Patients selected music that was appealing to them. Nurses in many countries can consider music of the country and seek individual preferences to use in addition to analgesics for postoperative pain.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Analgesic Intake; Distress; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Medication Use; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Obstetrical/Gynecological Surgery; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures; Surgery; Surgical Patients; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Culture; Gynecologic Surgical Procedures; Korea; Pain Measurement; Postoperative Pain; Pilot Projects; Prevalence; Severity of Illness Index; United States

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type