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Playing soothing music to patients, who are undergoing surgery helps them calm down besides improving their healing, according to a report.

Researchers from the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS trust have discovered that playing music in the operating theatre reduces the anxiety of patients and could also improve healing.

Researchers conducted a survey on 96 emergency patients and they asked them to rate their feelings of worry on a scale before and after the surgery.

Among the 96 patients, half had music playing in their operation theatre and the other half had the usual operation theatre environment.

Researchers discovered that the group which had mellifluous soothing music in their theatre had lower levels of anxiety and a lower breathing rate compared to the other group.

Researchers believe that when the patients have a low level of anxiety it will help them cope better with pain and recover quicker.

"Undergoing surgery can be a stressful experience for patients and finding ways of making them more comfortable should be our goal as clinicians," said Hazim Sadideen, surgeon at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS.

According to him, there are also good medical reasons - calmer patients may cope better with pain and recover quicker.

He said this small scale work was the first time an attempt had been made to measure the impact music has on this specific group of patients. There was need for a bigger multi-centre research to establish whether this should become part of standard practice, he added.