The effect of music listening on acute confusion and delirium in elders undergoing elective hip and knee surgery

J Clin Nurs. 2004 Sep;13(6B):91-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2004.01048.x.


This study was undertaken to determine the effect of music on elders undergoing elective hip and knee surgery who experience acute confusion and delirium postoperatively. Postoperative confusion and delirium in elders often cause complications that negatively effect recovery. Music listening was introduced as an intervention to an experimental group. Nurses documented episodes of acute confusion and delirium experienced by elders postsurgically. Scores from a readiness-to-ambulate profile to determine if patients were cognitively ready for postoperative therapy were evaluated. There was a significant decrease in the number of episodes of postoperative confusion among those in the experimental group compared with those in the non-listening control group. In addition, the experimental group had significantly higher scores on the readiness-to-ambulate profile than the control group. These findings indicate that music listening is an effective nursing intervention that can be used to decrease acute postoperative confusion and delirium in elders undergoing elective hip and knee surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / nursing
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / nursing
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Confusion / diagnosis
  • Confusion / etiology
  • Confusion / prevention & control*
  • Delirium / diagnosis
  • Delirium / etiology
  • Delirium / prevention & control*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / nursing
  • Humans
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Orthopedic Nursing
  • Postanesthesia Nursing
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Care / nursing
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome