MELBOURNE, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- In a hospital far, far away -- Australia -- doctors listening to the score from Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith while performing colonoscopies discovered more polyps and adenoma in patients than while listening to pop music, according to a new study.
Many doctors and surgeons listen to music while performing procedures on patients, but researchers at Austin Hospital in Melbourne combined their love for the Star Wars movies with an interest in how film scores would effect doctor performance.
While the study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, is written somewhat tongue-in-cheek and filled with references to the space saga, doctors found they were more efficient at discovering polyps and adenoma that can cause bowel and colon cancer.
In addition to being fans, the researchers write that music from Star Wars may also help relax Baby Boomer-age patients, many of whom are approaching the age for regular screenings and also are fans of the movie series.
"The soundtracks from such movies often contain uplifting musical tracks associated with glory, success and large-scale victory," researchers wrote. "Given we are avid fans of the Star Wars movies, and with the imminent release of the latest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we felt it would be important and timely to evaluate the effect of music from the Star Wars soundtrack in colonoscopy."
Researchers recruited 103 colonscopy patients between June and August 2015, excluding ewoks and wookies because they could not consent to participation in the study.
Doctors chose either a track from the score to Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith or pop music using a coin toss, shielding results of the toss from patients. Of coins tossed before the procedure, 58 resulted in Star Wars and 45 were for pop music. The most popular track selection was "Battle of the Heroes," which plays during a fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
The choice of music had virtually no effect on the time required to complete the procedure, although bowel preparation was less optimal in the Star Wars group. The results of the tests, however, leaned heavily toward Star Wars: The discovery of polyps was 25 percent higher in the Star Wars group and discovery of adenoma was 49 percent higher with Star Wars.
Aside from the researchers' appreciation for Star Wars, they point out the effects of epic movie soundtracks on the performance of medical procedures are relatively unknown and should be the subject of future studies.
"It is unclear from this study if the improved endoscopic outcomes are specific to Star Wars music or can be generalized to other epic movie soundtracks," they wrote. "A future study could, for example, assess the impact of music from the Lord of the Rings on endoscopic parameters. Of course, other non-Star Wars soundtracks would not be able to harness the power of the Force."