The Effect of Music Listening on Pain in Adults Undergoing Colonoscopy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Setor K. Sorkpor
Constance M. Johnson
Diane M. Santa Maria
Hongyu Miao
Carolyn Moore
Hyochol Ahn


PURPOSE: To investigate the role of music listening in reducing pain in adults undergoing colonoscopy. DESIGN: This is a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of music in reducing pain in adults undergoing colonoscopy. METHODS: We searched CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed for RCTs that reported on the effects of music listening in reducing pain in adult patients undergoing colonoscopy from database inception to March 15, 2020, when the search was completed. Studies published in English with adult participants testing the efficacy of music during colonoscopy were eligible for inclusion. Studies reporting the results of combined nonpharmacological interventions were excluded. The methodological quality of each included RCT was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tool for assessing the risk of bias. Two authors independently abstracted data and assessed risks of bias. FINDINGS: Seven RCTs with a total of 622 adult participants fulfilled our inclusion criteria and were, therefore, included. A random-effects model estimated the summary effect of the 7 included studies as -1.83 ± 0.98, P = 0.06. CONCLUSIONS: Although our meta-analysis demonstrated a small treatment effect, this effect was clinically not statistically significant. Substantial heterogeneity among the included trials limits the certainty of our findings. Additional trials investigating the effects of listening to music on pain in adults undergoing colonoscopy are needed to generate further evidence to establish the analgesic effect of music in adults undergoing colonoscopy.