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Summer Fitts

Summer Fitts


Quality Improvement Analyst

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital


Type of project: EBP Nursing; randomized control trial

Title of project: “Tonsils with a Tune, Recovering with Rhythm: The Effects of Music Medicine on Pediatric Adenotonsillectomy Postoperative Pain and Anxiety”

Co-authors involved in this publication: Angela Alexander, RN, BSN

Description of project:. An 80-patient, randomized control trial evaluating the effects of passive listening to music, otherwise known as “music medicine,” on postoperative pain, perioperative anxiety, and patient satisfaction in children, aged 7-18, undergoing adenotonsillectomy at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Why you chose this project:

I chose this project because our unit wanted to improve patient outcomes after patients underwent adenotonsillectomy. Pediatric adenotonsillectomy is a common surgical procedure in which patients experience moderate to severe levels of pain.2 Music medicine is inexpensive and easy to administer. Literature states that there are multiple positive clinical effects of the passive listening to music, however there are few studies done with children, and even fewer studies with children undergoing surgery.

Presentation and publication as a result of this project:

  1. Pediatric Education Lecture Series Lecturer; Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, 2017
  2. Nurses Week Research Poster Session, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), 2015, 2017
  3. Podium Presentation, Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing “Nurses in Action,” VUMC, 2016
  4. Podium Presenter; Music, Mind, & Society Symposium, Vanderbilt University, 2016
  5. Perioperative Services Project Presentation; Poster Session, VUMC, 2016
  6. OctoberFest Nursing Research Poster Session, VUMC, 2015

Notes from the spotlight: (Implications of findings for nurses or recommendations for future research)

  • The passive listening of music improves pediatric patients’ reported postoperative anxiety levels (p= 0.28).
  • Most children enjoyed listening to music (89.2% patients).
  • Eighty percent of the children stated that music “made their stay better,” and 86.5% of patients think that music helps them feel calm.
  • Future studies evaluating the clinical effects of music in additional surgical populations and additional pediatric populations would lead to greater understanding of music’s effects.
  • There are studies that show significant correlations between anxiety and pain. Though this study did not show that patents’ self report of postoperative pain, nor patients’ narcotic consumption, was effected by the passive listening to music, future studies investigating the effects of music medicine on pain in different pediatric populations could be beneficial in understanding whether or not music is an effective adjunct in analgesic therapy.