Music Reduces Confusion After Hip or Knee Surgery

In older adults, listening to music for three days may be linked to improved cognitive function
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults who undergo hip or knee surgery, postoperative music therapy may reduce acute confusion, according to a study published in the May issue of Applied Nursing Research.

Ruth McCaffrey, of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, randomly assigned 22 patients to receive either standard care or standard care plus a compact-disc player placed at the bedside, which at first continuously played soothing lullaby music and then could play a variety of selections chosen by the patient.

Compared to controls, McCaffrey found that the music-listening group had higher levels of cognitive function and less acute confusion on all three postoperative days as measured by the NEECHAM Acute Confusion Scale.

"Music listening increases the autonomy of the nurse by providing an intervention that can be used at the nurse's discretion," the author concludes. "Music as an intervention requires nursing judgment alone and may improve the ability of nurses to reduce acute confusion and thereby assist older adults to return to the highest possible functional state after hip or knee surgery."

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