children recover from surgery, a dose of "Diamonds"
or "Shake It Off" could do the trick, according to a
from Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital
of Chicago asserts that listening to music and audiobooks is a
viable alternative to medication for reducing post-surgery
pain in children.
therapy is an exciting opportunity and should be considered by
hospitals as an important strategy to minimize pain in
children undergoing major surgery," Dr. Santhanam Suresh
said in a news release. "This is inexpensive and doesn’t
have any side effects."
study, published recently in Pediatric Surgery, evaluated 54
patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital in late 2010. The
patients were 9 to 14 years of age and had undergone various
types of elective surgeries, according to the paper.
groups of 18 received different types of treatment, the study
states. The first group spent 30 minutes listening to songs
from a playlist they selected among several genres. A second
group spent 30 minutes listening to an audiobook of their
choice. The third group — the control group — received no
chose from pop artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce, David Guetta,
Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and from other genres such as
classical, rock and country.
audiobook selections included "Alice in Wonderland,"
"James and the Giant Peach," "The Complete
Tales of Peter Rabbit" and "The Hobbit."
listening to music and audiobooks reported feeling less pain
after receiving the therapy, according to the study. They
indicated how they were feeling by pointing to images such as
a happy face or a grimace.
is a Northwestern professor and the chair of pediatric
anesthesiology at Lurie. He conducted the study with his
daughter Sunitha Suresh, a medical student at Johns Hopkins
University, and Dr. Gildasio De Oliveira Jr. of Northwestern.
Suresh said that the examination into other approaches for
post-surgery care is particularly important because physicians
worry about the side effects of powerful painkillers in
part of the success of audio therapy simply is to distract
from the thought of pain.
is a certain amount of learning that goes on with pain,"
Suresh said. "We are trying to cheat the brain a little
bit. We are trying to refocus mental channels on to something
Suresh designed the study while focusing on biomedical
engineering and music cognition at Northwestern. She said
finding that the audiobooks worked as well as the music proved
parents commented that their young kids listening to
audiobooks would calm down and fall asleep," she said.
"It was a soothing and distracting voice."