Benefits of Music Intervention on Anxiety, Pain, and Physiologic Response in Adults Undergoing Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Asian Nursing Research




PURPOSE: Evidence on factors influencing the variations of music's effect on anxiety and pain in surgical patients is unclear. We aimed to elucidate the effects of music intervention on anxiety and pain throughstudy characteristics. METHODS: We conducted a search on the PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases from March 7 to April 21, 2022, for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for the effect of music intervention on anxiety, pain, and physiological responses in surgical patients. We included studies published within the last 10 years. We assessed the risk of bias in the study using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomized trials and performed meta-analyses using a random-effects model for all outcomes. We used change-from-baseline scores as summary statistics and computed bias-corrected standardized mean differences (Hedges'g) for anxiety and pain outcomes and mean differences (MD) for blood pressure and heart rate. RESULTS: Of the 454 records retrieved, 30 RCTs involving 2280 participants were found to be eligible. Music intervention was found to be superior to standard care in reducing anxiety (Hedges' g = -1.48, 95% confidence interval: -1.97 to -0.98), pain (Hedges's g = -0.67, -1.11 to -0.23), systolic blood pressure (MD = -4.62, -7.38 to -1.86), and heart rate (MD = -3.37, -6.65 to -0.10) in surgical patients. The impact of music on anxiety and pain relief varied significantly depending on the duration of the intervention. The largest effect was observed in interventions lasting between 30 and 60 minutes, with a decrease in anxiety and pain. CONCLUSIONS: Music intervention is an effective way to reduce anxiety, pain, and physiological responses in surgical patients. Future reviews examining the influence of different types of surgery on the effects of music would add to the body of knowledge in this field. This study has been registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) under the number CRD42022340203, with a registration date of July 4, 2022.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Pain; Postoperative Pain; Pain Management and Control; Anxiety; Physiological Measures; Subjective Measures; Music Medicine

Indexed Terms

Anxiety; anxiety; Pain; systematic review; Anxiety Disorders; pain; music intervention; surgery

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type