Controlling Pain: Sounds soothing: Music therapy for postoperative pain
Mauree H. Whitaker BSN, RN

December 2010 
Volume 40  Number 12
Pages 53 - 54
  PDF Version Available!

MORE THAN 80% of patients undergoing surgical procedures experience moderate-to-severe pain postoperatively.1 Despite national guidelines for pain management, many patients may have uncontrolled pain that can delay wound healing and lead to anxiety and depression. Relaxation and music have been recommended in acute pain management guidelines as interventions to be used with opioids for moderate postoperative pain.2 More randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these recommendations, but compelling evidence exists that music therapy is a simple, cost-effective, and benign intervention to reduce the intensity and duration of postoperative pain.3-9By activating the sympathetic nervous system, unrelieved pain can have negative cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and renal effects. This can predispose patients to serious complications, such as cardiac ischemia and ileus.2 Pain also reduces patient mobility, increasing the risk of venous thromboembolism and pneumonia. Complications increase

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