Background: Acute post-operative pain is a predictor in the development of chronic pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Music has been shown to reduce surgical stress. In a randomized, clinical trial, we wanted to test the hypothesis that perioperative and post-operative soft music reduces pain, nausea, fatigue and surgical stress in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy as day surgery.
Method: The study was performed in otherwise healthy Danish patients eligible for day surgery. Ninety-three patients were included and randomized to either soft music or no music perioperatively and post-operatively. Using visual analog score pain, nausea and fatigue at baseline, 1 h, 3 h, 1 day and 7 days after surgery were recorded. C-reactive protein and cortisol were sampled before and after surgery.
Results: Music did not lower pain 3 h after surgery, which was the main outcome. The music group had less pain day 7 (P = 0.014). Nausea was low in both groups and was not affected by music. The music group experienced less fatigue at day 1 (P = 0.042) and day 7 (P = 0.015). Cortisol levels decreased during surgery in the music group (428.5-348.0 nmol/l), while it increased in the non-music group (443.5-512.0 nmol/l); still, the difference between the two groups were only significant using general linear models as post-hoc analysis. Soft music did not affect C-reactive protein levels.
Conclusion: Soft music did not reduce pain 3 h after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Soft music may reduce later post-operative pain and fatigue by decreasing the surgical stress response.
© 2013 The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.