The effect of music on discomfort during lumbar spine SPECT scintigraphy

21 Oct 2020

Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging forms part of the bone scintigraphy examination to significantly improve the detection of skeletal lesions. It has been observed that patients undergoing lumbar spine SPECT scintigraphy frequently complain of general discomfort in the shoulder girdle. Music has been used as an intervention during medical procedures or imaging examinations in an attempt to relieve discomfort and anxiety. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of music, as an intervention, on the perceived discomfort in the shoulder girdle during lumbar spine SPECT scintigraphy. A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design with two groups was used to conduct this study. Ninety-six consecutive patients routinely referred for lumbar spine SPECT scintigraphy were recruited from two private nuclear medicine practices in Gauteng. Patients were systematically assigned to the control or experimental group. Patients were asked to rate their discomfort at various time points. The results indicate that the group exposed to music as an intervention more frequently reported a decrease in discomfort as compared with the control group. The experimental group also reported less percentage increase in discomfort. There were statistically significant differences in discomfort scores 10 min into the SPECT and after the SPECT between the control and intervention groups. Discomfort scores of the control group had a noticeable increase after the SPECT had started. Music as an intervention during SPECT imaging is more of a distraction than an analgesic and can be used to increase patient comfort and the patients’ experience.