Music and the reduction of post-operative pain
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Music and the reduction of post-operative pain

Kelly Dunn Acute pain nurse, Warrington Hospital, North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Warrington, Cheshire

Background The prevention and treatment of post-operative pain, and the promotion of comfort are the challenges facing practitioners working in the recovery room setting. Surgical pain produces autonomic, psychological, immunological and behavioural responses that can delay or inhibit normal healing. Nurses spend more time with patients experiencing pain than any other healthcare professional. Therefore, they are in an ideal position to consider other pain-relieving strategies to complement the analgesics currently used.

Conclusion The studies reviewed cannot prove that music is effective in reducing post-operative pain, because the research methodology in the majority is poor. Patients’ experience of listening to music post-operatively was positive, aiding distraction and increasing comfort. This shows the difference between inconsistent results for the objective measures of pain and what the patient is reporting.

Nursing Standard. 18, 36, 33-39. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.

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