Background: Administration of sedatives and analgetics during colonoscopy includes the risk for arterial hypotension and respiratory depression. The aim of this study was to assess whether music therapy increases patients tolerance and reduces the need of analgo-sedative premedication.
Methods: 146 consecutive patients were examined in a randomized, prospective study. Colonoscopy was performed under intravenous administration with titrated dosages of midazolam and pethidin. Oxygen was given in cases of blood desaturation below values of 90%. Patients younger than 18 and older than 80 years, patients with history of partial colectomy, gastrectomy or hysterectomy and patients with colonic tumorous or inflammatory stenosis were excluded. 60 patients underwent conventional procedure (Group A), whereas 59 patients received additional music therapy (Group B). Time required to reach the cecum (examination time) was measured and the rate of successful colonoscopies was determined.
Results: Most of the patients required sedation with midazolam in both groups (97 vs. 93%), whereas more group A patients required analgesia with pethidin than group B patients (43 vs. 31%, p<0.05). Under music therapy the rate of completed colonoscopies was higher (group A 93%, group B 98%) and examination time was significantly accelerated (group A 22.8 +/- 14.6 min, group B 16.8 +/- 11.8 min, p<0.03).
Conclusions: Accompanying music therapy reduces requirement of analgesia during colonoscopy, favours completion of the procedure and shortens examination time. Music therapy seems to promote safer conditions for endoscopical practice and diminishs patients discomfort.