Patients' perceptions of music during surgery



Music, as an aesthetic and symbolic medium, has the ability to dispel much of the fear and anxiety associated with facing the unknown alone As such it is an ideal support for patients undergoing surgery where a non-general anaesthetic is administered However, it is important to consider whether, from the patient's perspective, the inclusion of music in such a situation is considered to be helpful A pilot study conducted at an acute hospital involved interviewing 25 patients who, through an athtudinal scale and their interview responses, revealed positive support for the music that they listened to during their operation Their remarks focused on the ability of the music, as a familiar personal and cultural medium, to ease their anxiety, to act as a distractor and to increase their threshold of pain From a nursing perspective, such an application of music as therapy to reduce fear and anxiety may be viewed as being highly relevant to the work of the anaesthetic nurse, with regard to a more individualized and holistic approach to patient care