Orthopedic Outpatients' Perception of Perioperative Music Listening as Therapy

By Lukas, Linda K. | Journal of Theory Construction and Testing, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Orthopedic Outpatients' Perception of Perioperative Music Listening as Therapy


Lukas, Linda K., Journal of Theory Construction and Testing


Abstract: Anxiety and pain are natural responses for patients who must undergo surgery. Recent studies have shown that music therapy can be a low cost, effective adjunct to traditional pain and anxiety management. In the present study, 31 surgical patients selected music from a set of compact disc (CD) recordings and listened to the music preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively. A 10-item survey was administered to participants approximately 24 hours following their dismissal from the surgery center. Study results indicate that participants overwhelmingly felt that music listening was a positive addition to traditional pain and anxiety management.

Key Words: Anxiety, Music therapy, Orthopedics, Surgical pain

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1992) reported that over half of the 23 million Americans who undergo surgery each year do not get adequate pain relief from most traditional methods. As we move forward through the first decade of the twenty-first century, more and more patients are having surgery performed on an outpatient basis. Patients are usually sent home one to two hours following surgery with a family member or friend to act as caregiver.

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE

One of the greatest fears patients and their caregivers have is the potential for postoperative pain and their inability to manage that pain. A relatively large number of patients are afraid of addiction with the use of narcotics (Francke, Garssen, Abu-Saad, & Grypdonck, 1996), yet they do not want to experience the sensation of pain. Some patients experience more postoperative pain following hospital discharge than previously thought (McDonald, 1999). Uncontrolled pain can result in fears and anxiety associated with the pain, mobility problems, and sleep disruption. Pain is a multifaceted process made up of physiologic, psychosocial, and cultural parts. Creativity in relief of postoperative pain must be explored and utilized by healthcare workers for more positive patient outcomes. Today, some researchers are reporting that better acute pain management may be achieved for the patient through a combination of such traditional pain management techniques as opioids and such nontraditional techniques as music, relaxation, massage, or guided imagery (Van Kooten, 1999).

Music listening as therapy in the perioperative phase can bean effective adjuvant to analgesics for postoperative pain (Good, Stanton-Hicks, Grass, Anderson, Choi, Schoolmeesters, & Salman, 1999). Unfortunately most nurses, physicians, and other healthcare workers do not use music therapy as often as possible to decrease postoperative pain because they may be unaware of the effectiveness of this nonpharmacologic technique. Potentially, if healthcare workers used music therapy consistently as an adjunct to decrease postoperative pain and anxiety levels in surgical patients, a positive physiological and psychological effect might be achieved. It is also important, however, to consider if patients perceive music as helpful in controlling their pain and anxiety. This study investigated using survey methods to determine how participants perceived music listening when used perioperatively as an adjunct therapy to control postoperative pain and anxiety.

Problem Statement

Will orthopedic outpatients perceive music listening therapy as a positive addition to traditional pain management when used perioperatively to control postoperative pain and anxiety?

Hypothesis

Orthopedic outpatients will have a positive perception of music listening therapy when it is used perioperatively as an adjuvant to traditional pain management.

Rationale for Hypothesis

McDonald (1999) reported that orthopedic surgery might present more challenges for pain management than other surgeries. In a study done with 10,008 ambulatory patients in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU), orthopedic patients had the highest incident of pain (Chung, Ritchie, & Su, 1997). …

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