New Study Finds music through headphones helps children and adolescents during surgery

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An interesting new study appeared today about benefits of intraoperative music with children and adolescents.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28685824.  The study was published online, prior to coming out in the medical journal, Acta Anesthesia Scandinavia.  According to the study, “Hospitalization, surgery and anaesthesia may lead to new-onset maladaptive behaviour, emotional distress and trauma. This pilot study aims to investigate the influence of intraoperatively applied music on post-operative behaviour in children and adolescents.”

Apparently, many children ages 6-16 sometimes display new, maladaptive behaviors after undergoing surgery.  The intent of the study was to determine whether listening to music through headphones could make a difference in the appearance of these behaviors and emotions.

Obviously, no one wants to have surgery, but for children and adolescents, it’s even scarier because they have little or nothing to say about the procedure.  Parents and doctors are totally in charge!  But we know that children and adolescents love music and music can take them away; transport them to a familiar “safe place” when established feelings and memories reside and where the fear of a strange environment and unknown people just disappear!

Music is an almost magical process and especially when it’s delivered through lightweight, cordless, pre-loaded headphones!  After I had created the Surgical Serenity headphones for adults, I realized that children and adolescents could also really benefit and I started searching for the perfect music that would be familiar, comforting, and available.  I decided to record my own, specially-chosen playlist of lullabies.  These lullabies have been putting children to sleep for hundreds of years and bring back warm, safe, and comforting memories of parents, grandparents, and other caregivers arms and laps!

If your child or teen is preparing for surgery, or even dental work or immunizations, you can put these headphones on them the day of the procedure and they will play continusouly for 8 hours.  There’s just something about putting on headphones that makes the world disappear and a warm blanket of sound descends on your child.  For more information, go HERE.

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About the Author:

Dr. Alice Cash is one of the world’s few clinical musicologists. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, she brings to her work over 40 years of professional experience as a college professor, clinical therapist, solo and chamber music performer and composer. Since 1990, Dr. Cash has been in the field of Music Medicine and conducted clinical research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, under the guidance of Dr. Joel Elkes, Dr. Leah Dickstein, and Dr. Rif El-Mallakh. Her clinical work at the University of Louisville lead to her career in music medicine. In addition to her work with the University of Louisville, Dr. Cash lead the development of using music a hospital setting at Baptist East Hospital, Louisvile, KY. She has founded 3 companies: Healing Music Enterprises, Surgical Serenity Solutions and Crescent Hill Counseling.

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