Environmental noise is a significant
barrier to sleep for hospitalized
patients; research supports sleep as
therapeutic to overall health, wound
healing, and recovery (Gardner,
Collins, Osborne, Henderson, &
Eastwood, 2009). Noise in and
around the nurses’ station can be
especially problematic (Haupt, 2012).
Music therapy functions as a distracter
from hospital noise, thereby
reducing emotional anxiety and
pain (Gardner et al., 2009). To promote
relaxation, music should: (a) be
non-lyrical, (b) have predominantly
low tones, (c) have minimal brass
and percussion, and (d) have a maximum
decibel volume of 60 db
(Nilsson, 2008).
Purpose and Hypothesis
The purpose of this study was to
determine the effect of music therapy
on state anxiety, postoperative
pain, and environmental noise perception.
The hypothesis for this
study was as follows: Music therapy
will decrease state anxiety, increase
pain management effectiveness, and
increase environmental noise satisfaction
in postoperative patients.
The first 41 data sets collected to
test the efficacy and feasibility of the
study methods are reported here.
The larger study, which is still ongoing,
consists of three groups: (a) control,
(b) music therapy, and (c) white
noise therapy. The pilot study and
the larger study were provided
exempt status by both the Nursing
Research Council and Clinical Research
Steering Committee of OLOLRMC.
An implied consent process
was used because a written consent
would have tied the participant to
the study, thereby precluding
exempt criteria definition. Providing
complementary music therapy via
pre-programmed MP3 players was
an inexpensive intervention that
was implemented easily to enhance
the patient’s postoperative experience.


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