Playing classical music during operations ‘makes surgeons faster and more accurate’

10 December 2019, 10:23 | Updated: 10 December 2019, 10:32

Play classical music in the operating theatre, researchers say
Play classical music in the operating theatre, researchers say. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Doctors should listen to Mozart in the operating theatre, researchers advise.

Surgeons’ performance can be significantly improved by listening to classical music in the operating theatre, new research from Dundee University reveals.

The study, published in the International Journal of Surgery, found that listening to Mozart and Bach can boost doctors’ performance by up to 11 per cent.

Procedures were also completed ten per cent quicker with music in the background.

And it’s all further proof of the ‘Mozart effect’: gentle music, the study says, reduces stress levels and helps surgeons focus, as well as reducing patients’ anxiety.

Patients also needed fewer painkillers or anaesthetic while music was playing.

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According to the research, music is already commonly played in operating theatres.

Looking at 18 international studies, researchers found classical music played at a low to medium volume can increase both accuracy and speed in the operating theatre.

Contrastingly, loud or high-beat music can be distracting and was even found to trigger an increase in post-operative infections.

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Michael El Boghdady, a researcher on the study, said: “The total and significant outcome of the present study was that the positive effect of music on surgeons’ task performance, overrides its negative effect.

“Classical music when played with a low to medium volume can improve the surgical task performance by increasing both accuracy and speed.

“The distracting effect of music should also be put in consideration when playing a loud or high-beat type of music in the operating theatres.”