A study at South Dakota State University finds that relaxing music reduces anxiety and pain in post-operative open-heart surgery patients during chair rest and concludes it should be used as a complementary therapy Researchers from the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University studied the effects of relaxing music on anxiety and pain in post-operative open- heart surgery patients during chair rest.

Sixty-one adult postoperative open-heart surgery patients were randomly assigned to receive 30 min of either relaxing music (N=19), scheduled rest (N=21), or treatment as usual (N=21) during chair rest for this randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Anxiety, pain sensation, and pain distress were measured with visual analogue scales at chair rest initiation and 30 min later. Repeated measures MANOVA indicated significant group differences in anxiety, pain sensation, and pain distress from pretest to posttest, P<0.001. Univariate repeated measures ANOVA (P< or =0.001) and post hoc dependent t-tests indicated that in the relaxing music and scheduled rest groups, anxiety, pain sensation, and pain distress all decreased significantly, P<0.001-0.015. In the treatment as usual group, no significant differences occurred.

Further, independent t-tests indicated significantly less posttest anxiety, pain sensation, and pain distress in the relaxing music group than in the scheduled rest or treatment as usual groups (P<0.001-0.006).

Thus, in this randomized control trial, relaxing music was more effective than scheduled rest and treatment as usual in decreasing anxiety and pain in open-heart surgery patients during first time chair rest. The study concludes that patients should be encouraged to use sedative music as an adjuvant to medication during chair rest.

Citation: Voss JA, Good M, Yates B, Baun MM, Thompson A, Hertzog M. Sedative music reduces anxiety and pain during chair rest after open-heart surgery. Pain. 2004 Nov;112 (1-2): pages 197-203. [email protected]