Music intervention to relieve anxiety and pain in adults undergoing cardiac surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Objectives Previous studies have reported beneficial effects of perioperative music on patients' anxiety and pain. We performed a systematic review and meta-Analysis of randomised controlled trials investigating music interventions in cardiac surgery. Methods Five electronic databases were systematically searched. Primary outcomes were patients' postoperative anxiety and pain. Secondary outcomes were hospital length of stay, opioid use, vital parameters and time on mechanical ventilation. PRISMA guidelines were followed and PROSPERO database registration was completed (CRD42020149733). A meta-Analysis was performed using random effects models and pooled standardised mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results Twenty studies were included for qualitative analysis (1169 patients) and 16 (987 patients) for meta-Analysis. The first postoperative music session was associated with significantly reduced postoperative anxiety (SMD =-0.50 (95% CI-0.67 to-0.32), p<0.01) and pain (SMD =-0.51 (95% CI-0.84 to-0.19), p<0.01). This is equal to a reduction of 4.00 points (95% CI 2.56 to 5.36) and 1.05 points (95% CI 0.67 to 1.41) on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)/Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), respectively, for anxiety, and 1.26 points (95% CI 0.47 to 2.07) on the VAS/NRS for pain. Multiple days of music intervention reduced anxiety until 8 days postoperatively (SMD =-0.39 (95% CI-0.64 to-0.15), p<0.01). Conclusions Offering recorded music is associated with a significant reduction in postoperative anxiety and pain in cardiac surgery. Unlike pharmacological interventions, music is without side effects so is promising in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001474
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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