-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Listening to music on
headphones can help reduce the pain and anxiety experienced by a
man as he undergoes a prostate biopsy, new research suggests.
The study by researchers at Duke Cancer Institute included 88
prostate biopsy patients randomly assigned to three groups. One
group wore noise-cancelling headphones and listened to Bach
concertos during the procedure, while the second group wore the
headphones but heard no music. The third group had no
The men in the study underwent a transrectal biopsy, an
intrusive procedure that uses an ultrasound probe and a
spring-loaded needle with a loud trigger. The noise of the trigger
causes many patients to flinch even if they report no pain, and the
procedure causes high levels of stress and anxiety in about 20
percent of patients, the researchers said in a Duke Medicine news
The men's blood pressure was checked before and after the
procedure. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) often rises
as a result of stress and anxiety. A spike in diastolic blood
pressure occurred among both groups of men who didn't listen to
music during the procedure, but did not occur among those who
listened to music, the investigators found.
Patients who listened to music also reported less pain,
according to the study published in the January issue of the
The findings suggest that providing patients with headphones and
music may be a simple and low-cost way to help the estimated
700,000 men who have a prostate biopsy each year in the United
States, the researchers said.
"It's a matter of shifting attention, so the music provides a distraction from the procedure," lead author Dr. Matvey Tsivian, a urologic oncology fellow at Duke, said in the news release.
The researchers did not examine whether the type of music heard
by patients might have an impact on their anxiety and pain
"We couldn't study all the permutations and variables, but it's evident that this kind of approach works," senior author Dr. Thomas Polascik, director of urologic oncology at the Duke Cancer Institute, said in the news release. "This is something that could be broadly employed. It's easy and inexpensive -- a set of headphones and music. That's it."
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
medical tests for prostate problems.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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