This study investigated the effects of music intervention on the reduction of preoperative stress in Chinese surgical patients, using a matched-pairs, prepost design. Patients waiting in an operating room holding area were randomly assigned to music intervention (n = 33) and control (n = 33) groups. The former listened to 20 min of music of their selected choice. Pre- and posttests of arterial pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and state and trait anxiety were obtained for both groups. After the music intervention, there were reductions in all dependent variables, with significant reductions in mean arterial pressure and state anxiety. No significant reductions were found for the control group in any of the physiological or psychological measures. The findings suggested that listening to music might be an effective method for reducing the preoperative stress of patients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
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