Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text


Background: Individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) often suffer from severe distress putting them at greater risk for complications. Music interventions have been used to reduce anxiety and distress and improve physiological functioning in medical patients, however its efficacy for CHD patients needs to be evaluated. Objectives: To examine the effects ofmusic interventions with standard care versus standard care alone on psychological and physiological responses in persons with CHD. Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, LILACS, Science Citation Index,, CAIRSS for Music, Proquest Digital Dissertations,, Current Controlled Trials, and the National Research Register (all to May 2008). We handsearched music therapy journals and reference lists, and contacted relevant experts to identify unpublished manuscripts. There was no language restriction. Selection criteria: We included all randomized controlled trials that compared music interventions and standard care with standard care alone for persons with CHD. Data collection and analysis: Data were extracted, and methodological quality was assessed, independently by the two reviewers. Additional information was sought from the trial researchers when necessary. Results are presented using weighted mean differences for outcomes measured by the same scale and standardized mean differences for outcomes measured by different scales. Posttest scores were used. In cases of significant baseline difference, we used change scores. Main results: Twenty-three trials (1461 participants) were included. Music listening was the main intervention used, and 21 of the studies did not include a trained music therapist. Results indicated that music listening has a moderate effect on anxiety in patients with CHD, however results were inconsistent across studies. This review did not find strong evidence for reduction of psychological distress. Findings indicated that listening to music reduces heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. Studies that included two or more music sessions led to a small and consistent pain-reducing effect. No strong evidence was found for peripheral skin temperature. None of the studies considered hormone levels and only one study considered quality of life as an outcome variable. Authors' conclusions: Music listening may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, anxiety, and pain in persons with CHD. However, the quality of the evidence is not strong and the clinical significance unclear. Most studies examined the effects of listening to pre-recorded music. More research is needed on the effects of music offered by a trained music therapist. Copyright © 2009 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Bradt, J., & Dileo, C. (2009). Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free