ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – New research suggests that for some patients, using headphones to listen to their favorite types of music could lower anxiety and reduce their need for sedatives.

The Ohio State University study focused on patients hospitalized in intensive care units and on mechanical ventilators. Similar music therapy is being done at Saint Louis University Cancer Center in patients who are receiving chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, or are recovering from surgery, according to SLU music therapist Crystal Weaver.

“Most patients really gravitate towards that concept and they end up having a more positive experience when they’re in the hospital because of it,” she said.

The key, Weaver says, is allowing the patients to choose exactly the type of music they want to hear while undergoing treatment.

“As music therapists we play country, we play popular music, contemporary music, music from a more classical and romantic period, music from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, ” she said. “Some people listen to spiritual music and music they would hear in church.”

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