The effect of audio therapy to treat postoperative pain in children undergoing major surgery: a randomized controlled trial

Sunitha Suresh, B. S.; De Oliveira, G. S., Jr.; Suresh, S.

Pediatr Surg Int. 2015 Jan 4; 31(2):197-201


PURPOSE: To evaluate the analgesic effect of music and audiobooks in children undergoing major surgical procedures when compared to a control (silence) group. METHODS: The study was a prospective and randomized trial. Children undergoing major surgeries were randomized to one of the three groups: music, audiobook or control (silence). The primary outcome was the pain burden reduction by two treatments within 48 h postoperatively. Pain burden was measured using the area under the pain scale versus the 30 min interval for each treatment. RESULTS: 60 patients were recruited and 56 completed the study. Pain burden was reduced in the music and audiobook groups compared to control, median (IQR) of -60 (-90 to 0), -45 (-90 to 0) and 0 (-30 to 90) (min x pain score), respectively, P = 0.04. A linear regression analysis demonstrated an independent group effect on pain reduction even after adjusting for the mean pain scores recorded at the beginning of the treatment, slope of regression line -56.8 +/- 24 goodness of fit r (2) = 0.25 and slope significantly different from 0 (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Audio therapy is an efficacious adjunct method to decrease post-surgical pain in children undergoing major surgeries. Audio therapy should be considered as an important strategy to minimize pain in children undergoing major surgery.

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