Effectiveness of Music Intervention on Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Perianesth Nurs. 2022 Oct;37(5):717-727. doi: 10.1016/j.jopan.2021.11.009. Epub 2022 May 21.


Purpose: To evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of music intervention on postoperative nausea and vomiting in the first 24 hours after surgery.

Design: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Methods: The study was conducted according to recommendations from Cochrane Handbook. The studies were selected based on PICOS inclusion and exclusion criteria. The revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials was used for bias assessment and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement was used for reporting the study. Data was analyzed using the Comprehensive Meta-analysis version 3 software. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted using both fixed and random-effect models.

Findings: There were 576 patients in the seven studies who met the inclusion criteria. The number of participants ranged from 58 to 163. Music was implemented in postoperative, intraoperative, and perioperative periods. Meta-analyses revealed that music interventions significantly reduced postoperative vomiting (95% CI: 0.01 to 0.63, Z = 2.07, P < 0.05, Hedge's g = 0.32), and had no statistical significant effect on postoperative nausea (95% CI: -0.13 to 0.70, Z = 1.34, P > 0.05, Hedge's g = 0.28).

Conclusion: Music intervention is effective in decreasing postoperative vomiting. Music intervention can be applied by healthcare professionals and the patients. However, more studies are still necessary to estimate the effects of postoperative nausea and vomiting and to increase the amount of available evidence.

Study registration number: CRD42020209691.

Keywords: PONV; music; nursing; postoperative nausea; postoperative vomiting; systematic review and meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Music Therapy*
  • Music*
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / prevention & control