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Health Agencies Update
June 16, 1999

Tuneful Tonic

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JAMA. 1999;281(23):2175. doi:10.1001/jama.281.23.2175-JHA90004-3-1

A simple relaxation exercise and/or listening to soothing music significantly reduce patients' pain following major abdominal surgery, according to a new study funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. The results of the study were reported in the May issue of Pain.

The study involved 500 patients who were undergoing gynecological, gastrointestinal, exploratory, or urinary surgery. Patients were assigned to a control group or one of three intervention groups (music, relaxation, or both). Patients in the music/combination groups chose one of five kinds of soothing music (harp, piano, synthesizer, orchestral, or slow jazz); those in the relaxation/combination groups practiced the relaxation technique, a jaw relaxation/breathing exercise.