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ARTICLE |

Effects of Music on Cardiovascular Reactivity Among Surgeons

Karen Allen, PhD; Jim Blascovich, PhD
JAMA. 1994;272(11):882-884. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520110062030.
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Objective.  —To determine the effects of surgeon-selected and experimenter-selected music on performance and autonomic responses of surgeons during a standard laboratory psychological stressor.

Design.  —Within-subjects laboratory experiment.

Setting.  —Hospital psychophysiology laboratory.

Participants.  —A total of 50 male surgeons aged 31 to 61 years, who reported that they typically listen to music during surgery, volunteered for the study.

Main Outcome Measurements.  —Cardiac responses, hemodynamic measures, electrodermal autonomic responses, task speed, and accuracy.

Results.  —Autonomic reactivity for all physiological measures was significantly less in the surgeon-selected music condition than in the experimenter-selected music condition, which in turn was significantly less than in the no-music control condition. Likewise, speed and accuracy of task performance were significantly better in the surgeon-selected music condition than in the experimenter-selected music condition, which was also significantly better than the no-music control condition.

Conclusion.  —Surgeon-selected music was associated with reduced autonomic reactivity and improved performance of a stressful nonsurgical laboratory task in study participants.(JAMA. 1994;272:882-884)

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