Relaxation and Music Reduce Pain After Gynecologic Surgery


Pain Management Nursing




The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate the effect of three nonpharmacologic nursing interventions: relaxation, music, and the combination of relaxation and music on pain following gynecologic (GYN) surgery. A total of 311 patients, ages 18 to 70, from five Midwestern hospitals, were randomly assigned using minimization to either three intervention groups or a control group and were tested during ambulation and rest on postoperative days 1 and 2. Pain sensation and distress were measured using visual analogue scales. Multivariate analysis of covariance of posttest sensation and distress was used with pretest control and a priori contrasts. The intervention groups had significantly less posttest pain than the control group (p =.022-.001) on both days. The three interventions were similar in their effect on pain. Patients who received the interventions plus patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) had 9% to 29% less pain than controls who used PCA alone. Reduced pain was related to amount of activity (ambulation or rest), mastery of the use of the intervention, and decreased pulse and respiration. Those who slept well had less pain the following day. Nurses who care for GYN surgical patients can provide soft music and relaxation tapes and instruct patients to use them during postoperative ambulation and also at rest on days 1 and 2.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Distress; Hospital Setting; Hospitalized Patients; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Obstetrical/Gynecological Surgery; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Pain Score or Rating; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Patients; Pulse Rate; Recorded Music Listening; Respiratory Rate; Self-Report Measures; Surgery; Surgical Patients; Visual Analog Scale (VAS); Vital signs

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Analgesia, Patient-Controlled; Combined Modality Therapy; Early Ambulation; Gynecologic Surgical Procedures; Multivariate Analysis; Nursing Evaluation Research; Pain Measurement; Postoperative Pain; Postoperative Care; Relaxation Therapy; Rest; Time Factors

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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