South East Wales

Smooth Operator? Surgeons and songs are a winning mix, study finds

Surgeon listening to music on headphones Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A study by Cardiff surgeons has found what music works best when operating on patients

Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees or Another One Bites the Dust by Queen? Cardiff surgeons have been looking at which songs work best for operations.

After a study of music and healing, Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales came up with a tongue-in-cheek list of what to play in theatre.

While classical music is preferred by most surgeons, some more current suggestions were put forward.

Sade's Smooth Operator was approved - but REM's Everybody Hurts is a no-no.

Image caption Some of the comical suggestions for songs to be played during surgery

Although the songs are only meant as a bit of festive fun from medical staff at the hospital, the benefits of music helping patients and surgeons alike stems from a legitimate study.

According to their findings, around 80% of theatre staff said music helped while carrying out operations.

They also found that music is played 62-72% of the time in the operating theatre, with songs often chosen by the lead surgeon.

'Like a surgeon'

Published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, theatre staff said music improved communication between staff, reduced anxiety and improved efficiency.

They also reported surgical performances were enhanced when music was played by increasing task focus - particularly among surgeons who listen to music regularly.

According to the report's authors, critics argue that music "consumes cognitive bandwidth, reduces vigilance, impairs communication, and proves a distraction when anaesthetic problems are encountered".

But they said they "embrace music in the operating theatre whenever the situation allows it".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites