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Anxiety during the performance of colonoscopies: modification using music therapy

Andrada, J MLópez-Ceperoa; Vidal, A Amayaa; Aguilar-Tablada, T Castroa; Reina, I Garcíab; Silva, Lópeza; Guinaldo, A Ruiza; De la Rosa, J Larrauria; Cibaja, I Herreroa; Álamo, A Ferréa; Roldán, A Beníteza

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: December 2004 - Volume 16 - Issue 12 - p 1381-1386
Original Articles: Colonscopy

Background and study aims Colonoscopies are usually performed using pharmacological sedation. This process entails certain risks. In the search for alternative methods, some studies have analysed the effect music can have on patients during the procedure when used as a complement to sedation. We present a prospective, randomized study in which we assess the anxiolytic action music has when it is administered during a single colonoscopy.

Patients and methods We included 118 patients who were scheduled for ambulatory colonoscopies. They were randomly assigned to the control group (n = 55) and the experimental group (n = 63). We determined their levels of anxiety using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Test (STAI) form, which they filled in before and after the examination. Patients listened to music through personal headphones.

Results The score on the STAI form before the examination was 25.25 ± 10.49 and 28.16 ± 11.43 in the control and experimental groups, respectively (P > 0.05). The decrease of the score on the STAI scale after the colonoscopy in the control and experimental groups was 6.27 (95% confidence interval, 3.26–9.28) and 11.35 (95% confidence interval, 8.64–14.05), respectively (P < 0.01).

Conclusions Listening to music during ambulatory colonoscopies decreases the level of anxiety that is inherent to the process without other anxiolytic methods.

aDepartment of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and bEndoscopy Unit, Hospital de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain.

Correspondence to Jesús M. López-Cepero Andrada, Urb. ‘El Bosque', C/Ursulinas, Bq. 1, Portal 3, 3°D, 11405 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Spain. Tel: +34 652552927; fax: +34 956032123; e-mail:

Received 22 April 2003 Accepted 10 December 2003

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.