Research Series - Part 2 - Nature’s sounds and sights to reduce surgery pain and anxiety

12 February 2013


Flexible bronchoscopy is one such medical procedure that can cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and anxiety. A teaching hospital in Baltimore has undertaken a study that successfully proved how patient-friendly nature sounds and sights can be used to help reduce and lessen pain during the bronchoscopy process in a hospital setting (Diette et al., 2003).

80 patients were selected of which 41 patients were given nature sounds to listen to before, during and after the procedure. Furthermore, nature scene murals were placed at their bedside. A second group of 39 patients was assigned to a control group and were not offered nature sounds or imagery. Diette et al. (2003) observed that this type of distraction therapy with nature sounds and sights considerably decreased pain in patients undergoing flexible bronchoscopy as compared to patients who did not receive any sounds and sights of nature.

Clinicians are realising that non-invasive nature sound and scene treatment works well when coupled with standard analgesic medication. The added advantage is that there are no known harmful side-effects. To improve our understanding of how nature sounds and imagery affect our healing, further research is required in this area. 

Considering the healing potential nature’s sounds hold, the reader may be inclined to indulge the senses once in a while for recreational purposes. Australian Nature Sounds offer a range of quality, healing nature sounds and recordings. Have a look at our albums and see which benefits nature sounds have to offer to you!


Diette, G. B., Lechtzin, N., Haponik, E., Devrotes, A., & Rubin, H. R. (2003). Distraction Therapy With Nature Sights and Sounds Reduces Pain During Flexible Bronchoscopy*. Chest, 123(3), 941-948. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3.94