Wednesday, August 09, 2006

ScienCentral Video News: Music for Pain

Marion Good loves to play music in her spare time. But as a professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, she also prescribes it for pain relief.

Her interest in researching music for pain began when as a nurse on a neurology unit she worked with patients suffering from back pain. "I would bring music into the room -- soft quiet music. Their faces just relaxed ... pretty soon they fell asleep," she says. "I had to tiptoe out of the room and come back an hour or two later to pick up my tape recorder."

Good has been testing music with post-operative patients for more than 15 years. "I found that music does reduce pain up to about 31 percent in my studies in addition to medication," she says.

Now the conclusion of a systematic analysis combining 51 clinical studies is music to her ears. The Cochrane Review of Evidence-Based Healthcare found that patients exposed to music rate their pain as less intense and even use lower doses of painkillers.

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