1. Matzo, Marianne PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN


Music only moderately calms anxiety.


Article Content

Music reduces stress and induces relaxation in both healthy and ill people. Those receiving treatment for coronary heart disease-which can cause tremendous stress-desperately need interventions to reduce the distress and anxiety. This review focuses on the physiologic and psychological responses people with coronary heart disease, including patients hospitalized after a myocardial infarction, have to music and documents the effectiveness of music therapy compared with standard care.


The authors identified 23 studies (N = 1,461) whose participants were primarily white (85%), male (67%), and an average age of 63.3 years. The findings indicated that listening to music had a generally moderate effect on anxiety, a small effect on psychological distress, and no effect on depression. Regarding physiologic findings, music reduced blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate, and self-reported pain. The evidence suggests that the effect of music on mediation of physiologic symptoms and psychological response was small with unclear clinical applicability. Further research needs to be done on comparing music therapy as offered by a music therapist to other interventions, and on comparing different types of music.


The crux of the matter. Listening to music may have a calming effect on coronary heart disease patients, especially those hospitalized following a myocardial infarction. If patients want to listen to music, nurses should encourage them to select music with a slow tempo and with no abrupt changes or loud, sharp sounds.


Bradt J, Dileo C. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009(2):CD006577.