Honors College Theses

Date

2022

Major

Athletic Training (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Jessica Mutchler

Abstract

Clinical Question: In postoperative patients, how does listening to music affect perceived pain levels? Clinical Bottom Line: There is consistent evidence to suggest music decreases perceived pain in postoperative patients undergoing nasal septal surgery, open heart surgery, total knee replacement surgery, and general orthopedic surgeries requiring hospitalization. Athletic trainers can confidently implement music during patients’ post-operative care sessions to help reduce pain.

Thesis Summary

Clinical Scenario: In 80% of surgical patients, moderate to severe pain is frequently experienced. Within postoperative patients, pain reduction is a main goal to promote and encourage the healing process. When not managed properly, this pain may increase suffering, delay the patient’s recovery, and reduce one’s quality of life. In an Athletic Training setting, surgeries are not uncommon, so it is important to understand and provide non-pharmacological care for patients. Implementing music could provide patients with pain relief needed in the postoperative phase. Clinical Question: In postoperative patients, how does listening to music affect perceived pain levels? Summary of Key Findings: The patients included within the articles were those who underwent either nasal septal surgery, orthopedic surgery that required a minimum 24- hour hospital stay, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or total knee replacement. Two studies included an equivalent control group for comparison, one included a non-equivalent post-test control group, and one was a within group design with same day pain comparisons. All studies observed an improvement in pain measures when music was used as part of the intervention. Search Strategy: The review of articles began in September 2021 by using a university search engine to explore several keywords including music therapy and postoperative pain management. This produced 18,947 results. Potential articles were included if they were peer-reviewed, published within 10 years, included the population of adult postoperative patients at least 18 years of age (P), used music therapy as an intervention 20 (I), and measured perceived pain (O). Any articles not matching the inclusion criteria were excluded. Summary of Best Evidence: Four articles were selected, and an article appraisal was performed using the PEDro scale finding one article with fair quality (4/10) and three with good quality (6-7/10). Clinical Bottom Line: There is consistent evidence to suggest music decreases perceived pain in postoperative patients undergoing nasal septal surgery, open heart surgery, total knee replacement surgery, and general orthopedic surgeries requiring hospitalization. Athletic trainers can confidently implement music during patients’ post-operative care sessions to help reduce pain. Strength of Recommendation: This recommendation met the criteria for level B evidence with a mix of level I and II studies.

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