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Music does not aid in reducing pain, anxiety during urodynamic testing

20 Mar 2017

Listening to music does not facilitate a more comfortable urodynamic testing, having little to no impact on pain, anxiety and stress in both men and women, a study has shown. Moreover, women exhibit statistically higher levels of pain and anxiety compared with men, regardless of the presence of music.

In the study, 74 female and 74 male patients who underwent urodynamics were randomly assigned to the music or control group; those in the music group played their preferred music during the testing. The degree of pain, anxiety and satisfaction during urodynamic testing was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS), and all patients completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) form prior to and after the procedure.

Results showed significant gender-specific differences. Female patients had markedly higher pain and stress scores, as well as VAS shame, discomfort and satisfaction scores. Male patients, on the other hand, had a higher score of willingness to retry the procedure whether listening to music or not (p<0.001).

Of note, the differences in total STAI, state anxiety and trait anxiety did not significantly differ between the music group and the control group in either gender.

Urodynamic testing is performed to evaluate the filling and voiding phases of the micturition cycle. Usually performed in an office setting, the procedure requires attachment of catheter and multiple perineal, vesical and rectal sensors to the patient. As such, urodynamics is considered a cumbersome, uncomfortable and fear-inducing process, which could potentially lead to considerable morbidity and complications, especially in men with bladder outlet obstruction. [BJU Int 2014;114:22–8; Can Urol Assoc J 2016;10:187–90]

The current study is in line with a recent negative study showing that music has no significant impact in terms of lowering pain and anxiety, and increasing overall satisfaction and willingness to repeat the urodynamic examination. A more valuable takeaway perhaps is the finding by Khavari et al. that rather than music, having a well-trained and dedicated staff perform the urodynamic testing is the key factor in alleviating the patients’ pain and anxiety. [Can Urol Assoc J 2016;10:187–90]

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