Effects of jazz on postoperative pain and stress in patients undergoing elective hysterectomy

Lorenzo Rafer, Flower Austin, Jessica Frey, Christie Mulvey, Sonia Vaida, Jansie Prozesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


CONTEXT: Anesthesiologists use various medications to provide surgical patients with pain relief in the postoperative period. Other modalities, such as music, could be used in conjunction with opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to decrease pain and lower heart rate and blood pressure. Our hypothesis was that patients listening to jazz in a postanesthesia care unit (PACU) would have lower heart rates and blood pressures and reduced pain and anxiety.

OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to determine if listening to jazz music in the PACU, when compared to wearing noise-canceling headphones with no music playing, would decrease heart rate, blood pressure, pain, or anxiety in patients undergoing a hysterectomy.

DESIGN: The research design was a prospective, randomized study.

SETTING: The study was conducted in the PACU at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA, USA.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 56 patients, aged 18-75 y, who were categorized as status 1 or 2 according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status Classification System, and who were undergoing elective laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomies, were enrolled in the study.

INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned either to listen to jazz music where the beats per min (BPM) was <100 (experimental group, n = 28) or to wear noise-canceling headphones (control group, n = 28) for 30 min while in the PACU after their surgery.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Heart rate was the primary outcome, and secondary outcomes included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, an anxiety score, and a pain score. All outcome measures were initially recorded at baseline upon the patient's arrival in the PACU. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded postoperatively every 5 min for the initial 30 min that a patient was in the PACU. Pain was checked every 10 min during the 30-min period; anxiety was checked at 30 min.

RESULTS: Heart rates of patients in the noise-cancellation group were significantly lower when compared with baseline (P < .05), at all time points. For patients in the jazz group, heart rates were significantly lower at 15, 20, 25, and 30 min when compared with baseline. The pain scores were significantly lower (P < .05) in the noise-cancellation group compared with the jazz group at 10 min into the recovery period.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the results showed that patients responded not only to music but also to silence in the PACU. Using music and/or noise reduction could decrease opioid administration, promote relaxation, and improve patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in mind-body medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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