Purpose: This study was designed to determine whether music or music in combination with therapeutic suggestions in the intra-operative period under general anaesthesia could improve the recovery of hysterectomy patients.
Methods: In a double-blind randomised clinical investigation, 90 patients who underwent hysterectomy under general anaesthesia were intra-operatively exposed to music, music in combination with therapeutic suggestion or operation room sounds. The anaesthesia was standardised. Postoperative analgesia was provided by a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). The pain scores were recorded by means of a visual analogue scale. Nausea, emesis, bowel function, fatigue, well-being and duration of hospital stay were studied as outcome variables.
Results: On the day of surgery, patients exposed to music in combination with therapeutic suggestions required less rescue analgesic compared with the controls. Patients in the music group experienced more effective analgesia the first day after surgery and could be mobilised earlier after the operation. At discharge from the hospital patients in the music and music combined with therapeutic suggestion group were less fatigued compared to the controls. No differences were noted in nausea, emesis, bowel function, well-being or length of hospital stay between the groups.
Conclusion: This double-blind study has demonstrated that intra-operative music and music in combination with therapeutic suggestions may have some beneficial effects on postoperative recovery after hysterectomy. Further controlled studies are necessary to confirm our results.