Listening to music has a stress-reducing effect in surgical procedures. The effects of listening to music immediately before a cesarean section have not been studied. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of listening to selected music while waiting for a cesarean section on emotional reactions, on cognitive appraisal of the threat of surgery, and on stress-related physiological reactions.
A total of 60 healthy women waiting alone to undergo an elective cesarean section for medical reasons only were randomly assigned either to an experimental or a control group. An hour before surgery they reported mood, and threat perception. Vital signs were assessed by a nurse. The experimental group listened to preselected favorite music for 40 minutes, and the control group waited for the operation without music. At the end of this period, all participants responded to a questionnaire assessing mood and threat perception, and the nurse measured vital signs.
Women who listened to music before a cesarean section had a significant increase in positive emotions and a significant decline in negative emotions and perceived threat of the situation when compared with women in the control group, who exhibited a decline in positive emotions, an increase in the perceived threat of the situation, and had no change in negative emotions. Women who listened to music also exhibited a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure compared with a significant increase in diastolic blood pressure and respiratory rate in the control group.
Listening to favorite music immediately before a cesarean section may be a cost-effective, emotion-focused coping strategy. (BIRTH 39:2 June 2012)