The effect of music listening during pulmonary or cardiac rehabilitation on clinical outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Hannah E. Frank, Prue E. Munro, Imogen Clark, Annemarie L. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


To determine the effects of music listening during pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) or cardiac rehabilitation (CR) or their corresponding maintenance programs on clinical outcomes in people with respiratory or cardiac conditions.
Studies were identified from 4 electronic databases. Two reviewers independently reviewed randomized controlled or crossover studies examining the effects of music listening compared with no music listening in individuals undertaking PR or CR or corresponding maintenance programs. Methodologic quality was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.
Nine studies were included. Music listening during PR improved the incremental shuttle walk distance (mean difference [MD] of 73 m [95% CI 25.9–119.8]) compared with no music listening. This impact was absent in a CR maintenance program. When applied during PR programs, music listening had no effect on quality of life (standardized MD −4.6 points [95% CI −11.8 to 2.6]). Music listening had inconsistent effects on dyspnea and fatigue during PR and PR maintenance programs, but no impact on physical activity levels following CR or CR maintenance programs.
Music listening during PR improved exercise capacity, but had no effect on quality of life. When applied during CR or CR maintenance, the impact on physical activity was negligible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-29
Number of pages17
JournalCardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • music listening
  • quality of life
  • exercise capacity

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