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B. A. Karwoski, T. M. Kazam, J. M. Solomon; Music in the Operating Room and Patient Anxiety During Cataract Surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5384. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Surgery provokes various levels of anxiety for patients. Music is known to reduce anxiety and make people feel more at ease. Our study aims to determine the effect of music in the operating room during cataract surgery on patient anxiety, comfort level, and overall satisfaction.
Ninety-three patients were prospectively randomized to hear either no music, surgeon-selected music, or patient-selected music during their cataract surgery. Music was played using a portable speaker system in the operating room, and the patients did not wear headphones. Patients received either topical anesthesia or a peribulbar block, as determined by the operating surgeon during the preoperative exam. The same surgeon operated on all patients, none of whom had any other eye surgery during the year prior to their cataract surgeries. On post-operative day one, patients were asked to anonymously fill out a survey consisting of 11 questions with answers on a scale of 1 to 10. The questions focused on preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative anxiety levels, level of comfort in the operating room, and overall satisfaction with the operating room experience. Between group comparisons were made using ANOVA or unpaired t test, where appropriate.
Anxiety was highest prior to surgery in all groups (M=5.0, SD=3.1). Patients randomized to surgeon-selected music reported more anxiety during surgery (M=3.6, SD=2.8) compared to patients who heard no music (M=2.4, SD=2.1), or those who heard music they selected themselves (M=2.6, SD=2.0), t(90)=-2.18, p= .032. Anxiety immediately after surgery was lower in the patient-selected music group (M=1.9, SD=1.8) as opposed to those who heard surgeon-selected music (M=3.3, SD=3.2), t(82)=2.10, p= .038. Patients receiving topical anesthesia felt they had more control over their surgical experience (M=7.8, SD=2.7), as compared with those given a peribulbar block (M=6.3, SD=3.2), t(77)=2.19, p= .032. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in trait anxiety, anxiety before surgery, patient comfort, perceived ability to communicate with the operating surgeon, or overall satisfaction with the operating room experience (p> .05 for all).
Patients having cataract surgery experienced less intra- and postoperative anxiety if they heard no music or music they had selected themselves as opposed to music selected by the operating surgeon.
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