Music therapy, the use of music in a health care setting is a rapidly growing technique throughout many hospitals in the US. It is clinical and evidence based use of music interventions
Children, teens, adults and seniors and a wide variety of physical disabilities, acute and chronic pain and mothers in labor have benefited from music therapy.
According to the American Music Therapy Association the idea of music as a healing influence dates back to the writings of Aristotle and Plato. During the 20th century the discipline began after World Wars I and II when community musicians of all types, both professional and amateur, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans experiencing both physical and emotional trauma from the wars.
A study conducted to measure if listening to music or having a period of quiet rest before and after the first walk after surgery has the ability to reduce anxiety or pain. Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Department of Nursing, also investigated if they had an impact on blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart and breathing rates in people who underwent a total knee replacement
Fifty six patients having this surgery were assigned randomly to a music listening group or a quiet rest group. Their pain was measured using a standard tool, and their physiology was monitored.
The findings showed that there was no statistical difference between the two groups as the participants experienced a significant decrease in pain over time. The evidence supports the use of both to decrease pain and anxiety.
Also, there was no risk, and the benefit of decrease pain and anxiety could potentially spare or decrease the use of narcotics pain relievers, and thus reduce the likelihood of side effects. The authors recommended that nurses can offer music as an intervention to reduce pain and anxiety in patients having knee replacement surgery.