BACKGROUND: The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent organization that performs systematic reviews in order to assess the scientific validity of research findings. Music interventions have been theorized to help patients with heart disease, but no clear consensus exists.
This systematic review looked at the effect of music interventions in
patients with coronary artery disease. There were 23 trials with 1461
patients included in the evaluation. In most
studies, the main intervention was simply listening to music. A trained
music therapist was not utilized in the intervention group in 21 of the
Although the results were inconsistent, overall, listening to music
appeared to have a moderate and positive effect on anxiety in patients
with coronary heart disease. There wasn't any clear evidence for an
overall reduction of psychological stress by listening to music.
Listening to music, however, did appear to lower the heart rate,
respiratory rate, and blood pressure. In addition, there was evidence
that two or more therapeutic music sessions led to a small but
consistent reduction in pain.
listening to music appears to have a beneficial effect upon blood
pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, anxiety, and pain in persons
with coronary heart disease. It should be noted that the scientific
evidence is not strong and the clinical impact of these findings
unclear. More research is needed looking at the possible impact of using
trained music therapists.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15;(2):CD006577.