Josiah Brown Poster Abstract


Aubrey D. Kelly
Dr. Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi, PhD
Aubrey Kelly, MS2
Music Meets Surgery: Assessing the Efficacy of Postoperative Music Interventions


The interplay of music and medicine, specifically between the musician and surgeon has been well documented and studied. [1] Postoperative pain which may lead to chronic pain is characterized as both a physical and psychological condition. Currently, It is most commonly solely treated pharmacologically in a systematic approach with ends with opioid analgesics. [2] There is a strong evidence to suggest music therapy may decrease stress and anxiety; and reduce the needs for analgesic and anesthetic drugs.[3] Hence, this review highlights any analgesic effects music therapy may have on postoperative patients.


  1. To identify the effect and degree to which music has on reducing pain in postoperative adult patient
  2. To determine any specific genre, melody, style, or type of music proven to most effectively reduce pain outcomes
  3. To establish the framework and conduct most of the work on a   


We approached this systematic review following the PRISMA guidelines. Data used in this study stems from databases PubMed, Cochrane, and Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria limited data to those found in full text publications only which investigated the effect of music interventions on primarily pain [anxiety, stress, etc.] during invasive surgery published between January 1 2017 - June 1 2018. Keywords and phrases most relevant to surgery, music therapy, and pain outcomes were employed in such database searches. Included are only randomly controlled trials (RCT’s) and Systematic Reviews. All types of postoperative music interventions were included in adult patients over 18. All patient outcomes were included. Results and data were screened and extracted throughout the month of June. Data extracted and organized during the month of July.  To date, 32 articles have been independently selected for the study. 7 were screened and assessed for use during the STTP program.


There is statistically significant evidence to show that music has positive impact on a patient’s pain level as according to pain reports using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). In each study, conclusions were made that pain (along with other psychological parameters) are positively affected by music therapy. The most conclusive data comes when providers choose their own music. Specific tones and tempos are identified to have more impact than others. Similarly, culturally traditional music has also been proven to have a significantly more impact on reducing pain than standard music therapy alone.


From the selected data gathered this summer, it is concluded that music interventions provide significant analgesic effects in addition to previously studied anxiolytic effects in adult surgical patients. Music also provided no significant adverse effects reported in patients. Live music, patient controlled, as well as that controlled by interventionist. I look forward to furthering this research and following through with the remainder of the review. Further research on both pathophysiology and treatment is necessary for the future of the disease.


  1. Evans H.M.. Medicine and music: three relations considered, J Med Humanit , 2007, vol. 28 (pg. 135-148)
  2. Park HJ, Moon DE. Pharmacologic management of chronic pain. Korean J Pain. 2010;23(2):99-108
  3. Bradt J, Dileo C, Shim M. Music interventions for preoperative anxiety. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(6):CD006908.