Dr. Catherine Noelle O'Shea and Dr. David Wolf of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found adenoma -- colon polyp -- detection rate increased when doctors listened to Mozart.
Earlier research found the "Mozart Effect" -- resulting from listening to Mozart's music -- might result in significant short-term improvement in spatial temporal reasoning.
In this randomized-controlled trial, two endoscopists, each with experience completing at least 1,000 colonoscopies, performed screening colonoscopies randomly assigned to music -- where Mozart was played -- or no music.
One doctor had a baseline detection rate of 21 percent before the study began, but it rose to 67 percent while listening to Mozart and 30 percent with no music, O'Shea said.
The second endoscopist had a baseline detection rate of 27 percent, but an adenoma detection rate of nearly 37 percent with Mozart and 40 percent without the music, the study said.
"Adenoma detection rate is linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer incidence so it is an important quality indicator for colonoscopy," O'Shea told the American College of Gastroenterology's 76th annual scientific meeting in Washington. "Anything we can do get those rates up has the potential to save lives. While this is a small study, the results highlight how thinking outside the box -- in this case using Mozart -- to improve adenoma detection rates can potentially prove valuable to physicians and patients."