According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, “Music effectively reduces anxiety for medical and surgical patients and often reduces surgical and chronic pain. Providing music to caregivers may be a strategy to improve empathy, compassion, and care.” In other words, music is not only good for patients, it’s good for those who care for them as well.
Music is widely used to enhance well-being, reduce stress, and distract patients from unpleasant symptoms. Although there are wide variations in individual preferences, music appears to exert direct physiologic effects through the autonomic nervous system.
It also has indirect effects by modifying caregiver behaviour. Music effectively reduces anxiety and improves mood for medical and surgical patients, for patients in intensive care units and patients undergoing procedures, and for children as well as adults.
Music is a low-cost intervention that often reduces surgical, procedural, acute, and chronic pain. Music also improves the quality of life for patients receiving palliative care, enhancing a sense of comfort and relaxation. Providing music to caregivers may be a cost-effective and enjoyable strategy to improve empathy, compassion, and relationship centred care while not increasing errors or interfering with technical aspects of care.