Music interventions may be beneficial for coronary heart disease

Clinical question: 
What are the effects of music interventions in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)?
Bottom line: 
Compared with standard care, music listening may reduce systolic blood pressure (about 5mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate in patients with CHD. Music listening also appears to be effective in reducing anxiety upon hospitalisation in patients with myocardial infarction. The effect is modest - about half a point on a 5 point scale. No evidence for anxiety-reducing effects of music was found for patients undergoing cardiac procedures. This may be due to the fact anxiety was measured after the completion of the procedure rather than during it. Music listening may also reduce pain and respiratory rate. However, the magnitude of these effects is small and the quality of the evidence is not strong.
No evidence of effect was found for depression, heart rate variability, and peripheral skin temperature. Inconsistent results were found for mood. However, only a small number of trials investigated the effects of music on these outcomes. There are many styles of sedative music (eg, new age, classical, country and western, easy listening, etc) and, at this time, it is unclear which type of music is most effective. Most studies examined the effects of listening to pre-recorded music.
CHD is the single leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, 16.7 million people worldwide die of cardiovascular disease each year.ยน Individuals with 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. 1. World Health Organization. World Health Report 2003: Shaping the future. 2003.
Review CD#: 
July, 2009
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy