ROCKVILLE, Md., July 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Listening to
recorded classical music is a non-invasive method to
improve quality of life for a person living with heart
failure, according to a recent study published in the Journal of
Cardiac Failure, and accompanied by editorials from
internationally acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, Artistic Advisor
at the John F. Kennedy Center for
the Performing Arts; Sheri L. Robb,
PhD, MT-BC, Professor at the Indiana
University School of Nursing; and Jerome L. Fleg, MD, a cardiologist at the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH).
In the study Beneficial Effects of Listening to Classical
Music in Patients With Heart Failure: A Randomized Controlled
Trial, Francesco Burrai, RN, PhD, and a team of researchers at
Sassari University Hospital in Sassari, Italy evaluated the effects of listening to
classical music (in addition to standard medical treatment) on
quality of life, sleep quality, anxiety, depression, and cognitive
performance. The trial, conducted at 4 Italian cardiology
institutions, enrolled 159 outpatients with documented chronic HF;
patients in the experimental group listened to recorded classical
music from a playlist of 80 different tracks for at least 30
minutes per day for 3 months while resting at home, whereas the
control group received usual standard of care.
During the observation period, patients in the music group
showed greater improvements in quality of life, sleep, reduction of
both anxiety and depression levels, and cognitive performance.
"Our conclusions are that listening to classical music is a
feasible, noninvasive and inexpensive intervention, on top of a
good standard medical regimen, able to improve the quality of life
in patients with heart failure in the home-care setting," said Dr.
Burrai. "In the future, it would be important to investigate the
effects of music listening in terms of reduction of congestion,
evaluated with lab tests and biomarkers, and improvement of
functional capacity, such as exercise tolerance and oxygen
"The Journal has previously published analyses of Waon therapy
and Mind-Body interventions in heart failure, and the Burrai
contribution adds to an important and growing literature about
holistic approaches to the management of chronic heart failure,"
said Dr. Paul J. Hauptman, Editor in
Chief of the JCF. "The study is noteworthy in that the
National Institutes of Health has supported a music-based
initiative with soprano Renée Fleming called Sound Health.
The current paper by Burrai adds heart failure as a potential
target for music intervention and we are pleased to have
accompanying commentaries by Ms. Fleming and Dr. Jerome Fleg of the NIH."
Serving as Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center, Ms. Fleming, in spearheading the
collaborative Sound Health: Music and the Mind initiative
between the Kennedy Center and NIH, is uniquely positioned at the
intersection of health and music. Sound Health brings
together leading neuroscientists, music therapists, and arts
practitioners to better understand the impact of the arts on the
mind and body.
In an accompanying editorial Can
Music Touch the Heart? Ms. Fleming and co-author
Dr. Robb provide commentary on the increasing use of music
listening in medicine and medical research. Ms. Fleming and Dr.
Robb discuss the efficacy of classical music listening on physical
outcomes in patients, such as longer, fuller breathing and altered
stress levels. They also address community-based music programs as
a way to encourage social interaction and support, which may result
in a reduction in loneliness and an increased interest in life.
"I'm encouraged to see these initial findings, which showcase
yet another tremendous health benefit possible from listening to
music," said Ms. Fleming. "At the NIH-Kennedy Center Sound
Health Initiative, we work toward a greater understanding of
the role music plays in our health and well-being, through
collaborations with researchers across many disciplines, including
cardiology. I look forward to continued research to learn how music
programs can positively impact the quality of life for people
living with heart failure."
Ms. Fleming and Dr. Robb, along with Dr. Fleg in his editorial,
raise a number of questions left unanswered in the study that
represent opportunities for future investigation. In an editorial
entitled Music Intervention for Improving Quality of Life in
Heart Failure: Ready for an Audition? Dr. Fleg noted the need
for physiologic and blood chemistry measurements before and after
the intervention, as well as activity logs to better understand the
effects of music listening in patients with heart
"While many questions remain, including whether the type of
music and duration of exposure matter, and whether other surrogate
markers and hard outcomes are favorably impacted, the study
provides fascinating preliminary data on a novel approach and adds
music as a potential therapeutic intervention. Additional research
is clearly needed and we look forward to learning more about the
physiologic and biological effects of music on the heart," said Dr.
The article and accompanying editorials can be accessed via the
online version of the Journal of Cardiac Failure and
Beneficial Effects of Listening to Classical Music in
Patients With Heart Failure: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Can Music Touch the Heart?
Commentary on the Benefits of Music Listening for People Living
With Heart Failure
Music Intervention for Improving Quality of Life in Heart
Failure: Ready for an Audition?
About the Heart Failure Society of America
The Heart Failure Society of America is a multidisciplinary
organization working to improve and expand heart failure care
through collaboration, education, research, innovation, and
advocacy. HFSA members include physicians, scientists, nurses,
nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and patients. HFSA's goal
is to significantly reduce the burden of heart failure on patients
and families worldwide. For more information, visit hfsa.org.
About the Journal of Cardiac Failure
The Journal of Cardiac Failure publishes peer-reviewed
manuscripts of interest to clinicians and researchers in the field
of heart failure and related disciplines. These include original
communications of scientific importance and review articles
involving clinical research, health services and outcomes research,
animal studies, and bench research with potential clinical
applications to heart failure. The Journal also publishes
manuscripts that report the design of ongoing clinical trials and
editorial perspectives that comment on new developments pertinent
to the field of heart failure.
Media Contact: Laura Poko,
301-798-4493, ext. 226, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the NIH/Kennedy Center Sound
Health Initiative, visit:
For more information on Renée Fleming's Music and the Mind
Renée Fleming also leads a weekly webinar series, Music and
Mind LIVE, in conversation with scientists and practitioners
exploring the powerful impact of music and arts on human health and
the brain. Guests have included 19th US Surgeon General
Vivek Murthy, neuroscientist
Daniel J. Levitin, NIH Director Dr.
Francis Collins, and more. Live
episodes air Tuesdays at 5 PM EDT /
2 PM PDT. Episodes are free to watch,
with no registration required, and can be watched live
at https://facebook.com/ReneeFlemingMusic or
View original content to download
SOURCE Heart Failure Society of America