Music Intervention Prior to Cataract Surgery


Can music play a role in calming patients and preventing a spike in blood pressure? A randomized clinical trial, conducted at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, set out to answer the question. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association/Ophthalmology, included 309 patients, divided into two groups.(1)

One group of 155 patients had music intervention delivered via headphones. Patients in this group were shown how to use the tablet interface by a nurse or nursing assistant trained in the Music Care web app. A sequence in the app is designed to gradually relax the listener. Participants were able to choose their musical program based on their preferences and set the volume.(1)

The other group, of 144 patients, wore noise-cancelling headphones. Patients in both groups wore a sleeping mask.(1)

The main focus of the study was to measure hypertensive events between the two groups. The incidence of hypertension was significantly lower in the group who listened to music – 14 % vs. 53%. Additionally, in a visual measure of anxiety, patients in the music group showed lower anxiety. There was also a reduced need for sedative drug injections in the music group. The study concluded: “The trial suggests that a web-based personalized music intervention before cataract surgery may be considered to lower anxiety levels and hypertension or reduce the need for sedative medication.”(2)

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(1) Review of Optometry, Music Listening Pre-Cataract Surgery Reduces Stress and Tachycardia,
(2) Guerrier, G. MD, Abdoul, H. MD PhD, Jilet, L., et. al, Journal of the American Medical Association/Ophthalmology, Efficacy of Web App-Based Music Intervention During Cataract Surgery,

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