Eye Surgery
A patient is pictured after a surgery on board the ORBIS International aircraft, housing the world's only Flying Eye Hospital (FEH), at Noi Bao international airport in Hanoi, Vietnam June 2, 2015. Reuters/Kham

Anxious patients who are about to get an eye surgery done may find relief in music.In a new study a specific type of music was played that was developed to ease anxiety. The music included instrumental pieces only that had a decreasing tempo.

Listening to the music allowed patients to feel less anxious. Moreover, the patients required less sedation, scientists who conducted the French study, stated at the Euroanaesthesia 2016 conference in London.

The pilot study was led by Dr Gilles Guerrier, Cochin University Hospital, Paris, France. The purpose was to evaluate the effect of the music on anxiety in patients undergoing elective eye surgery under local anaesthesia.

The study involved 62 patients who were randomly and prospectively assigned the relaxing music or no music. The ones who listened to the music used headphone for 15 minutes just before their cataract surgery. The operation also lasted for 15 minutes. All the patients underwent the same type of surgery for comparable results.

The patients were allowed to choose from a panel of 16 recorded music catering to various preferences such as piano, classical, Cuban, flamenco and jazz among others. A Paris-based company, MUSIC CARE, provided the tracks. The company produces music aimed at managing or preventing depression, anxiety and pain.

Disinfectants and other liquids used during surgery can damage headphones. Hence, the patients had to listen to the music prior to the surgery. Previous research has shown that music-induced relaxation lasts for about 60 minutes after the music has stopped.

The scientists observed significant differences between groups in anxiety VAS after the music sessions. The music group showed reduced anxiety levels (score of 23 out of 100) compared to the non-music group (score of 65 out of 100).

The music group received notably less sedatives during surgery (16 percent) compared to the non-music group (32 percent). Moreover, post-operative satisfaction was also much higher in the music group with a score of 71 out of 100 compared to the non-music group’s score of 55.

“The objective is to provide music to all patients before eye surgery. We intend to assess the procedure in other type of surgeries, including orthopaedics where regional anaesthesia is common. Moreover, post-operative pain may be reduced by decreasing pre-operative anxiety, which is another study we intend to perform,” Dr Guerrier said in the press release.