The Impact of Music on the PACU Patient's Perception of Discomfort


Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing




Pain is a normal finding in the postoperative patient, and noise can accentuate one's perception of discomfort. In this study, physiological measurements, intravenous (IV) opioid administration, length of stay, and satisfaction for postoperative patients who listened to music were compared with patients not provided music during their PACU stay. Of the 213 subjects enrolled, 163 experienced postoperative pain. The mean change in experimental subjects' respiratory rate was significantly lower than the controls. Decreases in heart rate and blood pressure from admission to discharge were similar between the two groups. On average, peripheral oxygen saturation and opioid pain control were not significantly different between control and experimental subjects. Subjects provided with music reported acceptable noise levels and increased satisfaction with their PACU experience. Music intervention is therefore a viable, minimal cost, and alternative therapy that PACU nurses can use to assist patients coping with postoperative pain.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Analgesic Intake; Blood Pressure; Discomfort; Heart Rate; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Length of Hospital Stay; Medication Use; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Opiod Intake; Oxygen Saturation; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Patient Satisfaction; Postanesthesia Care Unit (PACU); Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Recorded Music Listening; Respiratory Rate; Self-Report Measures; Surgery; Surgical Patients; Vital signs

Indexed Terms

Opioid Analgesics; Blood Pressure; Heart Rate; Postoperative Pain; Postanesthesia Nursing

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type