Who Should Select The Music During Medical Procedures?


According to recent research it’s not the patient who should select it. Possibly because the patient will be afraid choosing a kind of music not agreeable to the physician. Overall, listening to music during cardiac catheterization significantly reduces anxiety as measured before and after the procedure with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Moreover, all patients who listened to music had a trend to lower values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate than control-group with no music. Women had higher anxiety scores before the procedure, the post operative score were similar in men and women. Women had a stronger anxiety reduction than men due to the music.

All patients with music during the procedure showed a positive reaction to the music played and they didn’t miss a true wireless sound headphone at all (87%). Overall the music should be of calm tempo, predominantly melodic and restrained dynamics and not sad. Two hundred patients were randomized in two groups, group A could choose the kind of music they preferred during the procedure: classical, relaxing modern music or jazz, no patient wanted no music. In the other group patients were randomized to these four groups. Some patients were allocated to music they didn’t prefer.

In B1 (allocated to classical music) nine patients out of 25 patients (36%) and in B3 (allocated to smooth jazz) eight out of 25 patients (32%) had expressed a dislike for the music they were allocated.

The most striking result was that the group with the assigned music had significant greater reduction than the group with their music of own choice. Possible explanations are the fear the music might not please the physician, already well known and liked music could become inappropriate in stressful situations. In particular, music highly appreciated and perceived as valuable, such as classical music and jazz, could become disturbing in clinical usage.

Goertz, W., Dominick, K., Heussen, N., & vom Dahl, J. (2010). Music in the cath lab: who should select it? Clinical Research in Cardiology DOI: 10.1007/s00392-010-0256-1