Music After Cardiac Surgery: The Abbott Northwestern Experiment

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Today we wanted to highlight an institution’s endeavors to validate a particular value that we hold as a company: that music should be used a tool to enhance traditional methods of care in hospitals.

At the Abbott Northwestern Hospital, doctors conducted a study to determine music’s effect on stress, anxiety and pain levels for heart patients immediately after undergoing cardiac surgery. This jumping off point highlighted a substantial problem in hospitals: surgery patients really do suffer from acute or chronic stress, anxiety and pain. These problems can manifest themselves in myriad ways that likely don’t help the surgical procedure. Sleeping habits, blood chemistry, and post operational healing, for example, can all be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.

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The study found a significant confirmation of the hypothesis; music really does reduce anxiety, stress and pain even in a high-stress situation like a post cardiac operation.

Music was found to reduce pain.

The results of the study are encouraging for all those who look to expand the use of music in medicine. However, for this study’s practical impact to take root, practitioners face looming obstacles such as music selection standards, audio equipment, music licensing fees, responding to patient musical feedback, training personnel, etc…

These questions are important and the medical world is taking steps forward daily toward resolving them. Music therapy organizations and companies like Genote™ commit enormous amounts of research and study to bridge the gap between doctors’ practice and music’s application in medicine. One day, music will work side by side with medical institutions for the benefit of the patients and the employees.

After all, if music has been scientifically proven to reduce pain and discomfort after surgery, why shouldn’t it be in every hospital?

We are happy that the Abbott Northwestern Hospital continues to develop their research on music and pain in the clinical experience.

Learn more about how music can benefit hospitals and patients at