Survey reveals what music Kiwi surgeons listen to theatre

  • 17/08/2018

Listening to classic 1980s tunes on the job is a reality for some surgeons.

A New Zealand Medical Association survey of surgical staff found music is commonly used in theatre.

Ninety-eight percent of staff at an unnamed New Zealand tertiary hospital said music was played in operating theatres during surgery.

Half of respondents were happy about the use of music, 23 percent we unhappy and 26 percent were neutral on it.

While 1980s music was not the most popular, it was in the top three. Easy listening was most popular and preferred by 54 percent of respondents and classical music came second, preferred by 36 percent.

Doctors thought easy listening and classical music could calm them down, but also distract from clear communication.

Nearly 30 percent of respondents preferred listening to 1980s music and 48 percent said they had heard it played around the hospital.

The least popular genres were reggae, hip-hop, rap, R&B, dance and electronica with less than 10 percent saying they preferred it or heard it.

Eighty-four percent said using music is viewed negatively in critical theatre situations or urgent procedures.

Researchers say there have been no studies on whether it impacts outcomes for patients and this would be a good area for further study.