Findings from a new study published this month in the journal Pediatric Surgery International lend new credence to the value of audio therapy as an approach to postoperative pain management in children. Finding new ways to ease children's pain after surgery is important, as opioid medications can cause breathing problems in children. Because of this risk, clinicians may limit the amount of narcotics given to children after surgery, resulting in inadequate pain control.
The researchers let the study patients choose from a list of pop, country, classical, or rock music, and short audio stories. The study used standard, objective measurements of pain to gauge any effect. The study found that listening to the music or stories for 30 minutes helped distract the children from their pain. Lead author Santhanam Suresh, MD, professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at Northwestern University observed, “Audio therapy is an exciting opportunity and should be considered by hospitals as an important strategy to minimize pain in children undergoing major surgery. This is inexpensive and doesn't have any side effects.”
Read more about the study findings here.