Anesthesia in the News
  • Power to Choose Music Enhanced Relief of Acute Pain, Study Finds

    Patients who were given the impression that they could choose the music to relieve their pain reported greater relief, a new study found.

    The patients actually heard the same music regardless of their stated preference, but they reported greater relief in the intensity of their pain than those who were not given an option to choose their music.

    The researchers also found that participants who engage more actively with music in their everyday lives had even greater relief when given a sense of control over the music used in the study.

    “The present study replicated the finding that even the illusion of choice has analgesic benefits. When participants felt that they were controlling the music, they reported greater decreases in pain intensity compared to when they had no control of the music,” said the authors, from the Queen Mary University of London and the University College Dublin. “It’s likely that people listen more closely, or more carefully when they choose the music themselves,”

    The study was conducted among 286 adults experiencing acute pain. They were asked to rate their pain before and after listening to a music track. There were two versions of the track — one of low complexity and one of high complexity.

    Each participant was randomly assigned a track, though some were given the impression that they had control over the musical qualities of the track, though they heard the same track regardless of their input.