Music therapy may work where other treatments have failed

October 23, 2013

A randomized controlled study published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics has investigated the role of music therapy in the mental health of patients.

Music therapy (MT) has been shown to be efficacious for care clients with various disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and . Referral to MT in clinical practice is often based on other factors than diagnosis.

The study aimed to examine the effectiveness of resource-oriented MT for mental health care clients with low motivation for other therapies.This was a pragmatic parallel trial. In specialised centres in Norway, Austria and Australia, 144 adults with non-organic mental disorders and low therapy motivation were randomised to 3 months of biweekly individual, resource-oriented MT plus treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone.

TAU was typically intensive (71% were inpatients) and included the best combination of therapies available for each participant, excluding MT. Blinded assessments of the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) and 15 secondary outcomes were collected before randomisation and after 1, 3 and 9 months.

Changes were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis using generalised estimating equations in longitudinal linear models, controlling for diagnosis, site and time point. MT was superior to TAU for total negative symptoms (SANS, d = 0.54, p < 0.001) as well as functioning, clinical global impressions, social avoidance through music, and vitality (all p < 0.01). Individual MT as conducted in routine practice is an effective addition to usual care for clients with low motivation.

Explore further: Listening to favorite music improves endothelial function in CAD

More information: Gold al. Individual Music Therapy for Mental Health Care Clients with Low Therapy Motivation: Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial, Psychother Psychosom 2013;82:319-331, DOI: 10.1159/000348452

Related Stories

Massage therapy may enhance immunity in preterm infants

November 13, 2012

(HealthDay)—For stable, preterm infants, daily massage therapy (MT) is positively associated with higher natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and weight gain, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Pediatrics.

Recommended for you

Elderly may face increased dementia risk after a disaster

October 24, 2016

Elderly people who were uprooted from damaged or destroyed homes and who lost touch with their neighbors after the 2011 tsunami in Japan were more likely to experience increased symptoms of dementia than those who were able ...

Research examines role of early-life stress in adult illness

October 24, 2016

Scientists have long known that chronic exposure to psychosocial stress early in life can lead to an increased vulnerability later in life to diseases linked to immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation, including arthritis, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.