Introduction: Music listening may have beneficial psychological effects but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the available data describing efficacy of music listening in stroke. \ud Areas covered: We performed a systematic review examining the effects of music listening interventions on cognition and mood post-stroke. We found five published trials (n=169 participants) and four ongoing trials. All studies demonstrated benefits of music listening on at least one measure of cognition or mood. Heterogeneity precluded meta-analysis and all included studies had potential risk of bias. Common reporting or methodological issues including lack of blinding, lack of detail on the intervention and safety reporting. \ud Expert commentary: It is too early to recommend music listening as routine treatment post-stroke, available studies have been under-powered and at risk of bias. Accepting these caveats, music listening may have beneficial effects on both mood and cognition and we await the results of ongoing controlled studies
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