Listening to music lowers anxiety during breast biopsies

New York, Aug 18 (IANS) Listening to live or recorded music significantly reduces anxiety for women undergoing surgical breast biopsies for cancer diagnosis and treatment, new research has found.

The two-year study involved 207 patients.

“We discovered that anxiety levels dropped significantly from pre-test to post-test in patients who heard one preferred song of either live or recorded music before surgery,” said lead author Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, music therapist at University Hospitals of Cleveland in Ohio, US.

Patients were randomly assigned to one of three study groups.

One group listened to preferred live music before surgery, one listened to preferred recorded music, and one experienced usual care with no music before surgery.

“In this trial, both live and recorded preoperative music therapy interventions reduced anxiety significantly more than usual preoperative management by 28 and 27 points, representing percent reductions of 43 percent and 41 percent, respectively,” she said.

“There wasn’t a significant difference in anxiety between live music and recorded music,” Bradley Palmer said.

“It seems like music, no matter how it is delivered, had a similar effect on reducing a patient’s preoperative anxiety,” she said.

“We know that music touches parts of our brain: The emotional centre that creates release of our body’s natural opiates, for example, endorphins, enkephalins and serotonin. All of those things that are released, are triggered by auditory stimulation, and music is prime in that,” said one of the co-authors of the study, Deforia Lane, from University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Centre.

The music groups and controls did not differ in the amount of anaesthesia requirement needed to reach moderate sedation.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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