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[Comment] Music in hospital

Many of us would agree with Martin Luther’s claim that “My heart…has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” If that solace can happen in our private lives, why not in hospitals? Companies have profited from the mood-altering effects of music, but medicine has been much slower to reap the benefits. Hopefully, the accumulating evidence base might change that: in The Lancet, a meta-analysis1 of 72 randomised trials of perioperative music, reported by Jenny Hole and colleagues, shows that music was associated with modest reductions in patient-reported postoperative pain and anxiety (standardised mean differences −0·77 [95% CI −0·99 to −0·56] and −0·68 [–0·95 to −0·41], respectively), reduced analgesia use (−0·37, −0·54 to −0·20), and with increased patient satisfaction (1·09, 0·51–1·68).

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