Music’s power to heal is not just folklore. A KKH study reveals the role of music therapy in easing Caesarean anxiety and pain.
A music-based intervention programme proved beneficial for elective Caesarean (C-section) patients at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). The study involved 108 women and showed marked improvements in their emotional well-being and recovery.
Music Therapy in C-Sections: A Game-changer for Anxiety and Pain Perception
Spinal anaesthesia is common during elective C-sections, explains Associate Professor Sng Ban Leong, senior author of the study.
He notes that women, though awake during the procedure, often grapple with anxiety. Such anxiety affects seven in ten patients, who ponder potential negative pain experiences.
When music entered the scene, anxiety scores plummeted by 50%. Pain magnification, individuals’ tendency to perceive pain in the worst possible way, decreased by 35%.
Anxiety’s Adverse Impact on the Body
Anxiety often boosts blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, causing surgical stress. It also leads to higher post-Caesarean pain scores, potentially increasing the risk of persistent pain and postnatal depression.
The Emergence of Music as an Alternative Anxiety Solution
Traditionally, anxiety management relied on medication. However, music-based intervention is emerging as a viable alternative. KKH’s press release highlights the success of such programmes.
Senior music therapist at KKH, Kayla Wong, emphasises the research-backed benefits of music-centred programmes. By introducing preferred music, patient anxiety reduces, making the Caesarean surgery experience less daunting.
Alternative Anxiety-Reducing Methods during C-Sections
Beyond music therapy, there exist other effective methods to manage anxiety during C-section procedures. These techniques can range from medical interventions to holistic approaches.
One traditional route is the use of anti-anxiety medication. Doctors often prescribe these drugs to help patients manage their stress levels during the surgery. While effective, these medicines can have side effects and might not be suitable for all patients.
A more holistic approach is the use of mindful meditation and deep-breathing exercises. These techniques can help patients focus their mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. Research suggests that mindfulness-based stress reduction can significantly lower anxiety levels in expectant mothers.
Aromatherapy, using essential oils like lavender and chamomile, has also shown promise in reducing anxiety. These scents create a calming environment, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Lastly, the support of a loved one or a doula can also be beneficial. Their presence during the procedure provides emotional support and reassurance, contributing to an overall reduction in anxiety.
The choice of anxiety-reducing methods during a C-section is highly personal. It depends on the patient’s comfort, beliefs, and the specific circumstances of the procedure. The ultimate goal is to ensure the mother feels safe, calm, and well-cared for during the delivery process.
Healing Tunes: KKH’s Music Intervention Programme
Post-study, KKH offers its music intervention programme, Healing Tunes, to planned C-section patients. Women can listen to their preferred music before and during surgery via a mobile device. KKH also plans more music-based programmes for other anxiety-inducing procedures.
The power of music in healthcare is gaining considerable attention, as revealed in the recent KKH study. This research showcased music’s remarkable ability to alleviate anxiety and pain in women undergoing elective C-sections.
Music-based intervention programmes offer a significant alternative to traditional medication, specifically for anxiety management. This approach not only helps to lessen anxiety, but also transforms the overall experience of Caesarean surgery, making it less intimidating.
These programmes, such as KKH’s Healing Tunes, are not limited to elective C-sections. KKH is already planning to extend these interventions to other procedures that might induce anxiety.
This study sheds light on the potential of non-pharmacological interventions in healthcare, particularly music therapy. As patient care continues to evolve, music’s role in the healing process seems destined to expand. The integration of music into healthcare strategies promises a future where patient care becomes a more harmonious and holistic experience.