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Listening to HIP-HOP music in theatre can make surgeons perform better, study claims 

Turn the music up, doctor! Listening to HIP-HOP in theatre can make surgeons perform better, study claims

  • Music was first introduced into operating theatres in 1914 to reduce anxiety 
  • Now, scientists have set out to understand which genres are most effective
  • They found that hip-hop and classical music at 70decibels boosted performance 

The idea of a surgeon blasting hip hop while performing intricate surgeries may sound like a bad idea, but a new study suggests it could actually improve their performance.

Researchers from Germany have looked at the effects of different genres of music on surgeons’ performances, ranging from rock to classical.

Their findings suggest that listening to either hip-hop or classical music can make surgeons more efficient in theatre, while rock or radio music is less effective.

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Researchers from Germany have looked at the effects of different genres of music on surgeons’ performances, ranging from rock to classical (stock image)

MUSIC IN OPERATING THEATRES 

Music was first introduced into operating theatres in 1914 to reduce anxiety in patients.

Now, patients are placed under anaesthetic outside the theatre and music is routinely played for the benefit of clinical staff.

New theatre suites are often equipped with docking stations and MP3 players and portable speakers are routinely used during operations.

While playing music in the operating room is a common practice, researchers from Heidelberg University Medical School set out to understand the effects of different genres.

In the study, the team monitored 82 medical students as they performed laparoscopic exercises in a theatre.

Laparoscopy, otherwise known as keyhole surgery, is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin.

During the exercises, the students were exposed to one of four genres of music (hip hop, classical, rock or mixed radio music), or listened to no music.

The results showed that students who were exposed to music at a constant sound level of 70 decibels performed better than those listening to no music.

What’s more, hip hop and classic music led to better outcomes than rock or radio music, according to the researchers.

Fabian Riedel, who led the study, said: ‘Our findings suggest that certain genres of music may have benefits for students during surgical training, which could make the process more efficient.’

Music was first introduced into operating theatres in 1914 to reduce anxiety in patients.

The findings contradict previous research which has suggested that listening to music during surgery can be disruptive (stock image)

The findings contradict previous research which has suggested that listening to music during surgery can be disruptive (stock image)

Now, patients are placed under anaesthetic outside the theatre and music is routinely played for the benefit of clinical staff.

New theatre suites are often equipped with docking stations and MP3 players and portable speakers are routinely used during operations.

However, previous research has suggested that listening to music during surgery can be disruptive. 

In 2018, a study by Imperial College London and the Institute of Education (IOE) found that communication within the theatre can be impaired when music is playing.

The team used innovative video technology to understand whether music affected nursing and theatre staff during 20 ‘real time’ surgeries.   

Dr Terhi Korkiakangas, a lead author from the IOE, said: ‘In the operating theatres we observed, it was usually the senior medics of the team who made the decision about background music. 

‘Without a standard practice of the team deciding together, it is left up to junior staff and nurses to speak up and challenge the decisions of senior doctors, which can be extremely daunting.’

MUSIC CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD

Listening to melancholy music can improve a person’s emotional well-being in times of loneliness and distress.  

Sad songs, in particular, can stir up a mixture of complex and ‘partially positive’ emotions, including nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence and wonder. 

Upbeat music that you’re not consciously aware that you’re listening to typically have no affect on how you feel.

But actively seeking out happiness through music can sometimes improve your health and relationship satisfaction. 

Research has also found that listening to fast-paced, energetic music can increase the perceived spiciness of food by up to ten per cent.  

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