The impact of perioperative music on abdominal surgery patients' experience of postoperative pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Journal of Perioperative Practice




OBJECTIVE: Music interventions have been analysed for their use in many surgical specialties, but they have not yet been reviewed in relation to abdominal surgery. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the effect that listening to music perioperatively has on the postoperative pain of abdominal surgery patients. METHODS: A systematic search of PubMed, Cochrane Library and Scopus was undertaken to identify randomised controlled trials comparing a music intervention with standard care, where self-reported postoperative pain was included as an outcome. Study quality was then assessed by the author in conjunction with Robot Reviewer software based on the Cochrane bias methodology, and a meta-analysis was performed using standard mean difference and a random-effects model. RESULTS: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria for review, and eight studies (2217 subjects) had appropriate data reporting to be included in the meta-analysis. Half of the reviewed studies concluded a significant positive impact on postoperative pain and the meta-analysis reinforced this hypothesis (p < 0.001). There was minimal difference in impact between intra and postoperative interventions, or between patient or researcher selected music. CONCLUSIONS: This review supports the use of music in the perioperative period for abdominal surgery patients as a low cost adjunct to pharmaceutical pain relief.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Pain; Pain Management and Control; Procedural Pain; Postoperative Pain; Surgery; Abdominal Surgery; Music Medicine; Music Listening; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Pain Management; Postoperative Pain; Anaesthetics – management and care; Bariatric surgery; Complementary therapy; General surgery; Holistic care; Patient safety

Study Type

Systematic Review; Meta-Analysis; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID

PMID: 32894995

Document Type