Effect of music listening on perioperative anxiety, acute pain and pain catastrophizing in women undergoing elective cesarean delivery: a randomized controlled trial


BMC anesthesiology




BACKGROUND: Anxiety may adversely impact mother and her newborn. Music listening is a safe and efficacious treatment that may to reduce perioperative anxiety. The effect on acute pain and pain catastrophizing scores remains unclear. We aimed to determine whether perioperative music listening reduces anxiety, acute pain, and pain catastrophizing scale (PCS) scores following elective cesarean delivery under spinal anesthesia. METHODS: After randomization into music listening and control groups, baseline patient characteristics, visual analog scale-anxiety (VAS-A) scores, pain scores, PCS total and sub-scores, and music preferences were collected preoperatively. Before surgery, parturients in the experimental group listened to music of their own choice for 30 min. Music listening was continued during administration of spinal anesthesia and cesarean delivery, and for 30 min following surgery. Postoperative VAS-A score, acute pain score, PCS scores, music preferences, satisfaction score, and feedback were recorded. RESULTS: We analyzed 108 parturients (music: n = 53; control: n = 55). Music listening was associated with reduced postoperative VAS-A (mean difference (MD) -1.43, 95%CI -0.63 to -2.22), PCS total score (MD -6.39, 95%CI -2.11 to -10.66), PCS sub-scores on rumination (MD -1.68, 95%CI -0.12 to -3.25), magnification (MD -1.53, 95%CI -0.45 to -2.62), and helplessness (MD -3.17, 95%CI -1.29 to -5.06) sub-scores. There was no significant difference in postoperative acute pain scores. The majority (> 95%) of parturients reported "excellent" and "good" satisfaction with music listening, and most provided positive feedback. CONCLUSION: Perioperative music listening was associated with reduced postoperative anxiety and lower pain catastrophizing. Based on the good patient satisfaction and positive feedback received, the use of music listening in the obstetric setting is recommended. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered on Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03415620 on 30/01/2018.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Pain; Pain Management and Control; Postoperative Pain; Anesthesia; Pregnancy; Surgery; Obstetrical/Gynecological Surgery; Physiological Measures; Subjective Measures; Hospital Setting; Music Medicine; Music Listening; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Anxiety; Pain; Pregnancy; Postoperative Pain; Newborn Infants; Cesarean Section; Acute Pain; Analgesia; Catastrophization; Catastrophizing; Obstetrics

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type