In the recent past, music has been known for soothing emotional pain. However, according to a recent study of children and teenagers who had major surgery, music can also ease physical pain. This study was conducted by Sunitha Suresh and her father, Santhanam Suresh, who is currently a professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University. This study finds that children who choose their own music to listen to after surgery experience less pain.
According to NPR, The study was inspired by a personal experience from a college student named Sunitha Suresh. Her grandmother had major surgery after her family wasn't able to visit her too often, as the visiting hours were restricted. Her family decided to make an iPod playlist for her with all of her favorite south Indian classical music. Suresh noticed that the music relaxed her grandmother and that it made her less anxious. She was curious to find out if she also felt less pain. Due to this, her and her father decided to collaborate on a study.
Suresh and her father conducted a small study involving 60 patients, all between the ages of 9 and 14. All of these patients recently had a major surgery and had to stay in the hospital for at least a couple days. They found that children who listened to either a book or music, reduced their pain by one point on a 10-point scale. These findings suggest that patients should listen to music after surgery in order to take their mind off of the pain. It also suggests that doctors may be able to use less pain medication, as children tend to not tolerate medicine as well as adults.
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