Music reduces state anxiety scores in patients undergoing pleural procedures: a randomised controlled trial

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Mackintosh, John
Cone, Grace
Harland, Kate
Sriram, Krishna B
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Background: Patient anxiety is an often overlooked complication of pleural diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Listening to music is effective in reducing patient anxiety in some endoscopy procedures but has not yet been evaluated in pleural procedures.

Aim: To evaluate the benefits of music therapy during pleural procedures on a patient's anxiety, perceived pain and satisfaction with the procedure.

Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing therapeutic pleural procedures were randomised to music and control groups. Participants in the music group listened to self‐selected music using ear‐bud headphones for the duration of the procedure. State anxiety was assessed before and after the procedure using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Physiological parameters were also measured.

Results: Sixty patients were included in the study. In the music group, a reduction in state anxiety scores were observed post‐procedure (34 ± 11 vs 48 ± 13, P < 0.001), while no change was observed in the control group (40 ± 11 vs 42 ± 11, P = 0.51). Participants in the music group had reductions in heart rate (87 ± 17 vs 95 ± 15, P = 0.04), systolic (121 ± 13 vs 130 ± 16, P = 0.02) and diastolic blood pressure (72 ± 8 vs 78 ± 9, P = 0.01) post procedure compared to the pre‐procedures values. A similar change was not detected in the control group: heart rate (86 ± 17 vs 85 ± 15, P = 0.73), systolic (133 ± 21 vs 134 ± 20, P = 0.83) and diastolic blood pressure (77 ± 9 vs 79 ± 10, P = 0.30). There was no difference in patient pain scores (P = 0.8), willingness to undergo the procedure again (P= 0.27), satisfaction with the performance of the pleural procedure (P = 0.20) and duration of the procedure (P = 0.68) between the music and control groups.

Conclusions: Listening to music appears to be beneficial in reducing anxiety in patients undergoing pleural procedures.

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© 2018 Royal Australasian College of Physicians. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Music reduces state anxiety scores in patients undergoing pleural procedures: a randomised controlled trial, Internal Medicine Journal, Volume 48, Issue 9, September 2018, Pages 1041-1048, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/imj.13738. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (
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