Listening To Music Reduces Anxiety During Awake Eye Surgery Interview with:
Dr Gilles Guerrier
Cochin University Hospital
Paris, France What is the background for this study?

Dr. Guerrier: Awake eye surgery is particularly stressful for patients. Music has long been known to reduce anxiety, minimise the need for sedatives, and make patients feel more at ease. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of music on anxiety in outpatients undergoing elective eye surgery under topical (local) anaesthesia. The music played was specifically composed to ease anxiety following strict criteria, including instrumental pieces only using a decreasing tempo and a progressive decrease in the number of instruments playing. Each patient was able to choose from a panel of 16 recorded music styles according to their own preferences, and listened through high quality headphones. There were various styles available, including jazz, flamenco, Cuban, classical and piano. The music was provided by MUSIC CARE, a Paris-based company that produces music aimed at preventing and managing pain, anxiety and depression. What are the main findings?

Dr. Guerrier:A total of 62 patients were prospectively and randomly assigned to hear relaxing music or no music through headphones for around 15 minutes just before cataracts surgery, which also lasted an average 15 minutes (all patients had the same type of surgery to make the results comparable).

A surgical fear questionnaire (SFQ) was used to assess anxiety before and after a music session. Overall postoperative patient satisfaction was assessed using a standardised questionnaire. The proportion of patients receiving the sedative midazolam during surgery was also recorded.

The researchers found that significant differences were noted between groups in anxiety VAS after music session, with anxiety significantly reduced among the music group (score 23 out of 100) compared to the non-music group (score 65 out of 100). The music group also received significantly less sedatives during surgery compared with the non-music group (16% vs 32%). Postoperative satisfaction was significantly higher in the music group (mean score 71 out of 100 versus 55 for the non-music group). What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Guerrier: Music listening may be considered as an inexpensive, non-invasive, non-pharmacological method to reduce anxiety for patients undergoing elective eye surgery under local anaesthesia. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Guerrier: All patients may benefit from music before all kinds of surgery performed under local anaesthesia We intend to assess the procedure in orthopaedics where regional anaesthesia is common. Moreover, post-operative pain may be reduced by decreasing pre-operative anxiety, which is another study we intend to perform. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Guerrier: All types of non invasive interventions to reduce preoperative anxiety should be further explored and implemented to improve patients’ satisfaction and outcome. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Abstract presented as poster presentation at Euroanaesthesia
May 2016 meeting

Impact of music on anxiety among patients undergoing eye surgery under topical anaesthesia
Gilles Guerrier* , David Boutboul, Sylvie Rondet, Dalila Hallal, Jacques Levy, Charles Marc Samama Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France

MUSIC CARE has set up a dedicated section on Youtube where samples can be listen to and used.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on

[wysija_form id=”5″]