Headphones plus Music Reduces Pain and Anxiety during Prostate Biopsies

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Allowing patients to listen to music with noise-cancelling headphones during a prostate biopsy may reduce their pain perception and anxiety, according to researchers at the Duke University Medical Center.

Headphones plus Music Reduces Pain and Anxiety during Prostate Biopsies

Allowing patients to listen to music with noise-cancelling headphones during a prostate biopsy may reduce their pain perception and anxiety, according to researchers at the Duke University Medical Center.

Matvey Tsivian, MD, of the division of urology in the department of surgery at Duke University, and his colleagues performed the study, which involved 88 patients who underwent a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy.

For the procedure, the participants were randomly placed into one of three groups: a control group that received no special aid, a group that received noise-cancelling headphones but no music, or a group that received noise-cancelling headphones plus music. After the procedure was over, the patients completed a pain and anxiety questionnaire. The researchers also assessed the patients’ physiological parameters before and after the procedure.

Pain scores increased from baseline in all three study groups, but the lowest mean pain score occurred in the group given noise-cancelling headphones plus music. In addition, post-biopsy systolic blood pressure values increased in the control and headphones-only groups, but remained steady in the headphones plus music group. This result suggests that patients who were allowed to listen to music experienced a reduced physiological response to anxiety and pain during the procedure.

“Music-induced attention shift during prostate biopsy may have a beneficial impact on procedural anxiety and pain perception, but no apparent effect was noted for use of headphones alone,” the researchers conclude in the study’s abstract, adding that further studies will be required to investigate additional methods of decreasing perceived anxiety and pain for patients undergoing prostate biopsy.

The study appears in the January edition of Urology.

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