Music therapy in pediatric asthma improves pulmonary function while reducing hospitalizations

Joanne Loewy, Cody Goldsmith, Saarang Deshpande, Alec Sun, Jennifer Harris, Cindy van Es, Zvi Ben Zvi, Stephen Dahmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate music therapy (MT), in conjunction with standard care, as a complementary option for asthma management in pediatric patients. Methods: 173 children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 1) Music: a single individualized MT session along with a recorder and journal with instructions for home use; 2) Music Plus: weekly group MT sessions along with a recorder and journal for home use; or 3) Control: standard of care. Primary endpoints included pulmonary function tests (FEV1, FVC, FEF25-75, PEF), hospitalizations, ER visits, missed school days, and quality of life (Juniper). Results: Significant intergroup differences relative to Controls were observed for FEV1/FVC (Music and Music Plus, p < 0.05) and FEF25-75 (Music Plus; p < 0.01). Music Plus participants experienced fewer hospitalizations compared to Controls (p < 0.001), corresponding to 1.16 fewer hospitalizations per patient-year. Caregivers’ perception of their children's QOL significantly increased in the Music (p = 0.011) and Music Plus (p < 0.001) groups compared to Controls. Conclusion: These results reflect MT’s potential to favorably impact pediatric asthma management as a child-friendly, low-risk intervention. Further research is needed to substantiate the possible benefits of incorporating MT into standard treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Asthma
  • complementary medicine
  • deep breathing relaxation
  • hospitalizations
  • music therapy
  • pediatrics
  • pulmonary function
  • quality of life


Dive into the research topics of 'Music therapy in pediatric asthma improves pulmonary function while reducing hospitalizations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this