Anxiety associated with pleural procedures can be reduced when patients listen to music of their choice, according to a single centre, randomised controlled trial.
Speaking at the Gold Coast Health Research Week Conference, respiratory specialist Associate Professor Krishna Sriram said the intervention offered a non-pharmacological alternative for patients in whom additional sedation was not recommended.
Associate Professor Sriram, from the department of respiratory medicine at the Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith University, said sedation in patients with compromised lung function could cause problems.
However local anaesthetic was sometimes inadequate to deal with the pain, discomfort and anxiety associated with procedures such as insertion of indwelling tunneled pleural catheters.
“It’s a bit of a brutal procedure pushing the tube through into the pleural space,” he said.
The study comprised 60 adult patients at the Gold Coast University Hospital who underwent pleural procedures including therapeutic pleural aspirations, intercostal chest tube insertion and pleural catheters.
Patients who listened to music of their choice via a laptop, headphones and YouTube during their procedure experienced less anxiety than patients given usual care.
Post-procedure State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores, along with heart rate and blood pressure were significantly lower than pre-procedure measures in the music listening group. No such differences were observed in the control group.
Listening to music had no effect on pain levels.
Associate Professor Sriram said patients could be anxious about anticipated pain during the procedure but, given many effusions were associated with malignancy, also had underlying concerns about their illness.
He told the limbic a larger study would also include patients’ perceptions of why they were stressed.
“The other thing that came up was that some people in the music group fell asleep even when we are doing the procedure. Either the music was a distraction or just had a calming effect.”
He said that music had been shown to reduce pain and anxiety in other procedures such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.