Patients who listened to soothing tapes during surgery required less pain relief during recovery, a study published Friday found.

Fifty-seven women undergoing hysterectomies at two hospitals in Glasgow, Scotland, wore personal stereos into the operating room, researchers reported in the current edition of the British Medical Journal. Half of the women were played blank tapes and the others listened to positive statements during the operation.Doctors found that the women who listened to the tape playing soothing remarks - including "Everything is going very well, we're very pleased with your progress," and "Any pain that you feel after the operation will not concern you" - used 23 percent less morphine while recovering than those who played blank tapes.

The women were connected to a system that allowed them to administer the amount of morphine they wanted.

The report said none of the patients could recall hearing any sounds during surgery.

Dr. Phil Richardson, who conducted three similar studies at London's St. Thomas' Hospital, said he agreed with the report's recommendation that more patients should be played tapes with positive messages during surgery.

Richardson's studies have shown that patients who were played such tapes during surgery left the hospital sooner and had fewer unpleasant side effects than those who were played blank tapes.