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Music could replace anxiety drugs in pre-surgery scenarios, reckon researchers

By | Published on Friday 19 July 2019

Listening to some relaxing tunes is as effective in reducing the anxiety felt by most patients immediately before surgery as pumping them with anti-anxiety drugs.

This is according to new research from the University Of Pennsylvania, which found that patients listening to soothing music on noise-cancelling headphones had similar anxiety levels to those who had been administered the sedative midazolam. Which suggests that music could be used as a drugless alternative for treating pre-surgery anxiety.

Researchers ran the test on 157 adults, half of whom took the drug, while the other half listened to the instrumental track ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union.

While anxiety levels in the drugged-up patients did drop further, the difference between the two groups was not all that significant. And it has been suggested that if patients listened to music for longer, or could choose the music they chilled out to, the musical option could be even more effective.

The concept needs more investigation, the researchers conceded, but nevertheless, “music medicine offers an alternative to intravenous midazolam prior to single-injection peripheral nerve block procedures”.

So that’s good, isn’t it? I expect a ‘Surgical Chill Out’ playlist to be gaining momentum on Spotify by the end of the day. Filled with tracks from the Epidemic Music libraries, no doubt.