Music decreases sedative requirements during spinal anesthesia

Anesth Analg. 2001 Oct;93(4):912-6. doi: 10.1097/00000539-200110000-00022.


Ambulatory surgery can create significant anxiety. This prospective study measured whether music can influence anxiety and perioperative sedative requirements in outpatients undergoing surgery with spinal anesthesia. We also evaluated the correlation between two anxiety measures, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory test (STAI) and the 0- to 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS 0-10), with 0 meaning complete relaxation and 10 the worst feeling of anxiety possible. Fifty unpremedicated patients were randomly assigned to listen to music of their choice via headset during the perioperative period (Group I) or to have no music (Group II). All participants used patient-controlled IV midazolam sedation and underwent repeated evaluations of their anxiety level with the STAI and the VAS 0-10. Midazolam requirements during surgery (Group I, 0.6 +/- 0.7 versus Group II, 1.3 +/- 1.1 mg; P < 0.05) and for the whole perioperative period (Group I, 1.2 +/- 1.3 versus Group II, 2.5 +/- 2.0 mg; P < 0.05) were smaller in patients listening to music. Anxiety levels, measured with STAI or VAS 0-10, were similar in both groups. The Spearman's coefficient values between STAI and VAS 0-10 ranged from 0.532 to 0.687. We conclude that patients listening to music require less midazolam to achieve a similar degree of relaxation as controls and that measures of anxiety obtained from the STAI and the VAS 0-10 are positively, but only moderately, correlated.

Implications: It is possible to decrease sedative requirements during surgery under spinal anesthesia by allowing patients to listen to music to reduce their anxiety.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Spinal*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage*
  • Music Therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Function Tests


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Midazolam