Relaxation and music therapies for asthma among patients prestabilized on asthma medication

J Behav Med. 1994 Feb;17(1):1-24. doi: 10.1007/BF01856879.


One hundred six asthmatic subjects were medically prestabilized, then assigned to eight sessions of progressive relaxation, music, or a waiting-list. Seventy-two subjects completed treatment, of which 37 were evaluated in the laboratory with measures of forced expiratory flow. Relaxation-group subjects reported feeling the most deeply relaxed and produced the greatest improvement in forced expiratory flow during the last presession assessment period. All groups evidenced decreases in asthma symptoms. All groups showed decreases in pulmonary function immediately after relaxation sessions. None of the changes in pulmonary function reached levels that are accepted in drug trials to be of clinical significance, and the therapeutic changes occurred only in the situation where training was rendered. Listening to music produced greater decreases in peaks of tension than progressive relaxation, and it produced greater compliance with relaxation practice, but it did not produce any specific therapeutic effects on asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Middle Aged
  • Music*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Self-Assessment
  • Spirometry
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Methacholine Chloride