Listening to guided meditation significantly reduced biopsy pain during imaging-guided breast biopsy, while meditation and music lowered patient anxiety and fatigue, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology has shown.1

For the study, researchers sought to evaluate the effect of guided meditation and music interventions on patient anxiety, fatigue, and pain during imaging-guided breast biopsy. Investigators enrolled 121 women undergoing percutaneous imaging-guided breast biopsy and randomly assigned them to receive guided meditation, music, or standard care.

In the meditation and music groups, patients listened to an audio-recorded, guided, loving-kindness meditation and relaxing music, respectively, during the biopsy procedure.

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The standard care control group received supportive dialogue from the clinicians. Participants of all groups completed questionnaires immediately before and after the biopsy to measure anxiety, fatigue, and biopsy pain, as well as radiologist-patient communication, demographics, and medical history.

Results showed that patients who received meditation and music interventions reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety (P<.05) than the standard care group after the biopsy. The meditation and music groups reported reduced fatigue while the standard care group reported increased fatigue.

Furthermore, patients who received guided meditation reported significantly lower pain during the biopsy compared with the music group (P=.03).

Of note, researchers found that guided meditation or music did not compromise radiologist-patient communication.

“These simple, inexpensive interventions could improve women’s experiences during core-needle breast biopsy,” the authors conclude.


1. Soo MS, Jarosz JA, Wren AA, et al. Imaging-guided core-needle breast biopsy: impact of meditation and music interventions on patient anxiety, pain, and fatigue [published online ahead of print February 4, 2016]. J Am Coll Radiol. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2015.12.004.