Patients report less pain during channeling when listening to music

August 29, 2022

2 min reading


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Patients using hemodialysis reported less pain when listening to music during the drainage procedure, according to data published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

However, there was no substantial evidence that music affected anxiety, blood pressure or stress.


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“Numerous studies have shown that listening to music reduces various pains, such as pain associated with cancer, surgical treatment, lumbar puncture in children and prostate biopsy.” Emi Inayama, MD, from the Mihama Narita Clinic in Japan, and colleagues have written. They added, ‚ÄúTherefore, music may be a useful analgesic for hemodialysis patients who experience frequent draining pain. However, studies investigating the effects of music in hemodialysis patients are limited, and it remains unclear whether music reduces vascular access canal pain.

In a multicenter, single-blind, crossover, randomized trial, researchers examined 121 patients who had undergone hemodialysis for at least 6 months and reported pain during cannulation.

The researchers randomly assigned patients 1:1 to the early sequencing group (early group) or the later sequencing group (later group). Of the 4-week study, weeks 1 and 3 were considered “sound-free” periods during which patients wore sound-free headphones. In the first week, the early group heard the “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K.448” during cannulation, while the later group heard white noise. This is back for the 4th week. Patients put on the headphones 8 minutes before the start of the cannulation procedure and kept the headphones on during the puncture.

In an attempt to hide the study’s hypothesis from the patients, the researchers told them that “both music and white noise can effectively relieve the pain of draining, and we would like to verify which is better.”

The researchers considered the VAS score for channeling pain independently rated by the patients as the primary outcome.

Analyzes revealed that the mean VAS baseline pain score was 24.7 mm. The researchers observed that the average change from “no sound” in the music period was -2.7 mm and the change from “no sound” in the white noise period was -0.03 mm. Therefore, patients reported less pain when listening to music compared to white noise.

However, patients reported no significant differences in anxiety, blood pressure or stress.

“In conclusion, listening to music alleviated cannulation-related pain among patients undergoing hemodialysis in this well-designed randomized controlled trial, while secondary outcomes assessing anxiety, vital signs, and stress markers showed no improvement,” they write. Inayama and colleagues. “Although the magnitude of the effect of music alone may not be clinically sufficient to control pain, music may be useful as a safe and inexpensive adjunctive method of pain relief for patients who do not experience a sufficient analgesic effect from other treatments.”

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