Nursing Music Protocol and Postoperative Pain

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Abstract

Pain has always been a major concern for patients and nurses during the postoperative period. Therapies, medicines, and protocols have been developed to improve pain and anxiety but have undesirable risks to the patient. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies have been studied but have not been applied as regular protocols in the hospital setting. Music is one type of complementary and alternative medicine therapy that has been reported to have favorable results on reducing postoperative pain, anxiety, and opioid usage. However, music lacks a protocol that nurses can implement during the perioperative process. This paper is an in-depth literature review assessing a best practice recommendation and protocol that establishes a consensus in the use of music therapy. The results suggest that music therapy may consist of calming, soft tones of 60-80 beats per minute for at least 15-30 minutes at least twice daily during the pre- and postoperative periods. It is suggested that music only be used in conjunction with standards of care and not as the primary intervention of pain or anxiety. This evidence suggests that proper use of music therapy can significantly reduce surgical pain. Implementing these protocols and allowing the freedom of nursing staff to use them may lead to greater reductions in surgical pain and anxiety and a reduction in opioid use.

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