The effect of music on preoperative anxiety in day surgery

J Adv Nurs. 2005 Oct;52(1):47-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03563.x.


Aim: This paper reports a study to test the hypothesis that day surgery patients who listen to music during their preoperative wait will have statistically significantly lower levels of anxiety than patients who receive routine care.

Background: Although previous day surgery research suggests that music effectively reduces preoperative anxiety, methodological issues limit the generalizability of results.

Methods: In early 2004, a randomized controlled trial design was conducted to assess anxiety before and after listening to patient preferred music. Participants were allocated to an intervention (n=60), placebo (n=60) or control group (n=60). Pre- and post-test measures of anxiety were carried out using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

Results: Music statistically significantly reduced the state anxiety level of the music (intervention) group. No relationships were found between socio-demographic or clinical variables such as gender or type of surgery.

Conclusion: The findings support the use of music as an independent nursing intervention for preoperative anxiety in patients having day surgery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Music Therapy*
  • Nursing Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / methods*