Journal of Clinical Oncology

Effects of Music Therapy on Anesthesia Requirements and Anxiety in Women Undergoing Ambulatory Breast Surgery for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Purpose To investigate the effect of live and recorded perioperative music therapy on anesthesia requirements, anxiety levels, recovery time, and patient satisfaction in women experiencing surgery for diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer.

Patients and Methods Between 2012 and 2014, 207 female patients undergoing surgery for potential or known breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive either patient-selected live music (LM) preoperatively with therapist-selected recorded music intraoperatively (n = 69), patient-selected recorded music (RM) preoperatively with therapist-selected recorded music intraoperatively (n = 70), or usual care (UC) preoperatively with noise-blocking earmuffs intraoperatively (n = 68).

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Music Therapy Perspectives: The Significance and Implementation of Music Therapy in the Operating Arena

While music therapy is rarely practiced perioperatively, an extensive body of research confirms the efficacy of music therapy with comparable medical populations. Numerous music-in-medicine and music therapy studies suggest that surgical music therapy (SMT) may in fact be beneficial in the perioperative realm. In this article, SMT experiences are relayed, offering goals, suggestions, and challenges in its facilitation.

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Collaborating With Music Therapists to Improve Patient Care

Collaboration between perioperative nurses and music therapists can be beneficial in providing a safe, cost-effective means of managing patients’ anxiety and pain and reducing the need for pharmacologic intervention in the perioperative setting. The use of a board-certified music therapist may help to improve patient outcomes, ease nurse workload, and serve as an adjunct therapeutic modality that is enjoyable for both patients and staff members. We conducted a two-year, randomized controlled trial to determine how to best implement a music therapy program, navigate its challenges, and collaborate with nurse colleagues to bring its benefits to surgical patients. This article offers suggestions for alliances between perioperative nursing and music therapy staff members and describes the potential of music therapists to help provide optimal patient care.

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