Writing in the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine in 2019, the team of researchers found that pre-operative anxiety is common and can raise levels of stress in the body.
Sedatives used to treat anxiety can have side effects that impact breathing and blood flow and need monitoring, researchers said.
For the study, 157 adults were split into two groups — the first received 1 -2 mg of midazolam, injected three minutes before the use of a peripheral nerve block. The second group listened to Marconi Union’s “Weightless“ via noise-cancelling headphones.
While examining anxiety levels, researchers found that patients in the music group had similar anxiety levels to those who took the drugs — suggesting music was as effective at calming nerves.
Researchers noted that while the song did reduce stress levels, patients in the drug group were more satisfied with their overall experience than those in the music group. They also noted that this may be due to the fact that patients weren’t allowed to choose the music they listened to.
In separate research, Mindlab International found that Weightless created a 65% reduction in anxiety.