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Patients respond to taped suggestions.

Patients Respond to Taped Suggestions

LONDON, ENGLAND: A study of women undergoing hysterectomies at London's St. Thomas's Hospital, published in The Lancet, offers evidence that patients may be affected by what they hear while under general anesthesia, even though they do not consciously recall what they heard. Thus, patients who are played a tape with soothing suggestions during surgery may recover more quickly and have fewer postoperative complications, suggest researchers Carlton Evans and F.H. Richardson.

The 39 women studied were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Patients in both groups wore special headphones attached to portable tape decks during surgery. The tape heard by 19 patients discussed the normal recovery process and included positive suggestions, such as to relax and not to expect pain. For the 20 patients in the control group, the tape was blank.

Patients in the group receiving the taped suggestions left the hospital almost a day and a half earlier on average than those in the control group, and had fewer episodes of fever and bowel problems, commonly seen after abdominal surgery. Study authors Evans and Richardson said that none of the patients were able to recall the specific sounds they had heard during the operation.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1989
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