Music listening alleviates anxiety and physiological responses in patients receiving spinal anesthesia

Complement Ther Med. 2017 Apr;31:8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.12.006. Epub 2017 Jan 7.


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the effects of listening to music on the anxiety levels and physiological responses of surgical patients receiving spinal anesthesia.

Methods: An experimental design was used in the study with an experimental group (n=50) and a control group (n=50). The experimental group received 30min of musical intervention and routine nursing care in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) while the control group received only routine nursing care.

Results: The study found significant differences in both anxiety and physiological indices between the two groups. The mean score of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) in the study group decreased from a pre-test score of 59.0 to a post-test score of 31.20 (t=28.63, p<0.001). Physiological indices such as heart rate (t=2.61, p=0.012), respiration rate (t=2.29, p=0.026), systolic blood pressure (t=2.30, p=0.026), and diastolic blood pressure (t=3.02, p=0.004) decreased significantly as well. Control group was not seeing significant changes from pre-op values.

Conclusion: Listening to music while in the recovery room may decrease the level of anxiety in surgical patients receiving spinal anesthesia. The results of this study can serve as a reference for PACU nurses in utilizing music listening programs to achieve the goal of holistic care.

Keywords: Anxiety; Listening; Music; Physiological responses; Spinal anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Spinal / adverse effects*
  • Anesthesia, Spinal / psychology
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Taiwan