BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Older adults who listened to their choice of music during outpatient eye surgery had significantly lower heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac work load than patients who did not listen to music, a study by researchers at the University at Buffalo has shown. Furthermore, the music-listeners rated themselves significantly less anxious and significantly better at coping with the experience than their non-music-listening colleagues.
Results of the study, previously presented at a meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, appear in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Karen Allen, Ph.D., research scientist in the UB Department of Medicine and lead author on the study, said music was responsible for two effects, both important to successful surgery: It decreased stress on the cardiovascular system and helped patients relax.
If this were a drug intervention, people would be clamoring for it, said Allen, a pioneer researcher on the effect of music on cardiovascular response to stress. Patients like it, its cheap and effective, and has no negative side effects. Hospitals could offer it and be heroes to their patients.
Forty cataract or glaucoma patients ranging in age from 51-88 took part in the study. They were divided into two groups, each composed of 15 women and five men. Two participating surgeons treated half of each group.
Patients in the experimental group listened to music of their choice through headphones before, during and after surgery. Patients in the control group did not listen to music at any time. Allen and colleagues measured blood pressure and heart rate in all patients one week before their surgery date, on the morning of surgery, and every five minutes during the preoperative, surgery and postoperative periods. An electrocardiogram was taken before and after each period as well.
Heart rate and blood pressure of all patients shot up the morning of surgery, Allen said, indicating that ambu
Contact: Lois Baker
University at Buffalo