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Figures

Figure 1

Study flowchart of the trial.

Figure 2

The distribution of patients’ well being scores (excellent or good) after the three intervention periods. Abbreviations: MOM = music–ordinary sound–music; OMO = ordinary sound–music–ordinary sound.

Figure 3

The proportions of patients reporting that the acoustic environment had great importance for their wellbeing during the three intervention periods. Abbreviations: MOM = music–ordinary sound–music; OMO = ordinary sound–music–ordinary sound.

Figure 4

The proportion of patients reporting that they liked the sound during the three interventions. Abbreviations: MOM = music–ordinary sound–music; OMO = ordinary sound–music–ordinary sound.

Figure 5

Distribution of patients’ preferences: listening to music or to ordinary sound in the postanaesthesia care unit. The numbers in bars show number of patients.

Summary

We performed an experimental single-blind crossover design study in a postanaesthesia care unit (PACU): (i) to test the hypothesis that patients will experience a higher degree of wellbeing if they listen to music compared to ordinary PACU sounds during their early postoperative care, (ii) to determine if there is a difference over time, and (iii) to evaluate the importance of the acoustic environment and whether patients prefer listening to music during their stay. Two groups received a three-phase intervention: one group (n = 23) experienced music–ordinary sound–music and the second group (n = 21) experienced ordinary sound–music–ordinary sound. Each period lasted 30 min, and after each period the patients assessed their experience of the sound. The results demonstrated a significant difference (p < 0.001) between groups in the proportions of patients reporting that the acoustic environment was of great importance for their wellbeing during the three-phase intervention, and most participants (n = 36 versus n = 8) noticed that they were exposed to different sounds during the PACU period. The results also revealed that most participants (n = 32) preferred listening to music versus listening to ordinary sound (n = 3) while in the PACU (p < 0.001). These findings promote use of listening to music to establish a healing environment for patients in a postanaesthesia care unit.

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