Tim Brunson DCH

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The impact of music on the PACU patient's perception of discomfort

Pain is a normal finding in the postoperative patient, and noise can accentuate one's perception of discomfort. In this study, physiological measurements, intravenous (IV) opioid administration, length of stay, and satisfaction for postoperative patients who listened to music were compared with patients not provided music during their PACU stay. Of the 213 subjects enrolled, 163 experienced postoperative pain. The mean change in experimental subjects' respiratory rate was significantly lower than the controls. Decreases in heart rate and blood pressure from admission to discharge were similar between the two groups. On average, peripheral oxygen saturation and opioid pain control were not significantly different between control and experimental subjects. Subjects provided with music reported acceptable noise levels and increased satisfaction with their PACU experience. Music intervention is therefore a viable, minimal cost, and alternative therapy that PACU nurses can use to assist patients coping with postoperative pain. Copyright 2010 American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

J Perianesth Nurs. 2010 Apr;25(2):79-87. Easter B, DeBoer L, Settlemyre G, Starnes C, Marlowe V, Tart RC. Catawba Valley Medical Center PACU, Hickory, NC 28602, USA. beaster@catawbavalleymc.org

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