Music to replace sedatives for treating pre-op anxiety?

Before undergoing an operation, most people experience some form of anxiety. Although this response is common, it is not unproblematic, and treatment often involves a sedative with a whole host of possible side effects. But new research may have found an alternative.

woman listening to relaxing music on a sofa

The biggest issue with preoperative anxiety is its ability to affect recovery, including wound healing.

Typically, people receive benzodiazepines — drugs that act as sedatives — to lower anxiety levels before receiving anesthesia.

But benzodiazepines can cause a number of side effects that may impact breathing, blood flow, and even mood. It is also necessary for a trained professional to monitor the person’s response.

So, anything that simplifies the situation would be welcome. According to a new clinical trial published in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, that thing may be music.

The power of music in relation to anxiety has been the subject of previous studies. A review of 26 trials, published in 2013, concluded that music may have a “beneficial effect” on preoperative anxiety.

But no study had compared music to benzodiazepines, until now.

Read article here.

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