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Music played during surgeries may hinder communication and impact patient safety

Washington: Music is currently played in approximately 50 percent to 70 percent of surgical operations performed worldwide.

Sharon Weldon
Sharon Weldon

In a new study of 20 operations conducted in the UK, repeated requests — for example, for a surgical instrument — were five times more likely to occur in surgeries with music than in those without.

The findings suggest that music during surgery can lead to increased tensions due to frustration at ineffective communication.

In addition, patient safety could potentially be affected due to miscommunication.

“Our study shows that playing music in the operating theatre can run counter to effective communication and highlights the need to consider both positive and negative effects of music on staff and patients,” said Sharon Weldon, lead author of the Journal of Advanced Nursing study.

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