Music therapy reduces pain and anxiety during colonoscopy


Colonoscopy is widely used to detect a number of bowel diseases, including colorectal cancer, and also to detect and remove polyps. Many patients find the procedure uncomfortable or painful, which can be exacerbated by feelings of embarrassment, fear and anxiety associated with this invasive procedure.  

A recent study looked at whether music therapy could help to reduce pain, anxiety and patient discomfort during colonoscopy (Çelebi et al, 2020). One hundred and twelve patients were randomly assigned to either a control group or intervention (music therapy) group. All patients received a low dose of Midazolam 2 mg (conscious sedationbefore the procedure.  

Those in the intervention group were also supplied headphones with appropriate music selected by the Turkish Music Research and Promotion Group, and were advised that they could adjust the volume and stop and stop the music as they wished. Those in the control group received standard nursing care.  

The findings of the study ‘showed that music therapy during colonoscopy reduced pain and anxiety, increased comfort, and positively affected vital signs in the music therapy group. The authors concluded that, ‘since music therapy is an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive and non-pharmacological method without any side effects, it might be used as an adjunct to analgesics and sedatives for patients undergoing colonoscopy’.  

Read the full study.

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