Improper pain management in the postsurgical patient can delay proper healing, increase frustration for the patient, and prolong hospital stays (Córcoles-Jiménez et al., 2021). Moderate to severe pain can pose a greater risk for complications such as deep vein thrombosis, pneumonia, and delayed recovery (Kolaczko et al., 2019). Music therapy is an underutilized pain intervention in the PACU environment. Music therapy has been shown to lower pain and anxiety scores in many different clinical settings (Lee et al., 2017). Pain management can radically improve a patient’s outlook and recovery (Luo & Min, 2017). Patients who return to wakefulness and receive pain management in the early postoperative phase of recovery respond positively and are discharged from PACU much faster. Ambulating, nausea control, and overall patient well-being greatly improves with patient pain being tolerable. Multimodal analgesics, alternatives including regional anesthesia, and properly executed nursing interventions such as providing pharmacological pain management as ordered, patient positioning or immobilization, and distraction, can drastically improve patient outcomes (Small & Laycock, 2020). The inclusion of music therapy as a distraction can help provide a holistic, comprehensive approach to pain management for the post-surgical patient.

Date of publication

Fall 12-4-2023

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters in Nursing