Upto 70% of patients have moderate to severe pain after surgery. The type, level and duration of pain may vary depending on the type of surgery; however its presence and that of any anxiety associated with it, result in a longer post-operative stay and may result in development of chronic pain syndromes if not effectively managed.
This pain may hamper rehabilitation after common surgical procedures in the elderly, such as hip and knee surgery, and therefore result in sub-optimal results and poor functioning. Such pain can be managed expectantly through the administration of analgesia pre-operatively, continuing it into the post-operative period. However the use of analgesia has to be judicial, as over-administration can result in addiction and further complications. Therefore nurses usually under-administer doses for pain relief to avoid this. To supplement pharmacological agents and to provide better relief from pain, other newer modalities include massages, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and music therapy. Music is an inexpensive, non-invasive intervention that has been used at some centers with good results. This paper is a review of studies done to evaluate the role of music in decreasing the perception of pain and resulting anxiety in post-operative patients.
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