Music-Based Interventions Found Beneficial For Treatment Of Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia
For the review, investigators analyzed data on more than 400 people who participated in experiments that tested the benefits of music-based interventions, either as a singular treatment or combined with other interventions for depression.
In general, the examination revealed that patients report feeling less depressed when music was added to their treatment program. It also appeared to mitigate anxiety and increase functioning in those who were depressed.
Music-based interventions may involve approaches such as passive listening, and also more active treatments that include playing an instrument, singing, and participating in a performance. Music-based therapy sessions are most often led by someone with training in psychology or counseling.
Studies examined in the review ranged in duration from 6-12 weeks. The largest study was comprised of nearly 80 people. The total number of sessions ranged from 8-48, and the length of sessions varied from 20 minutes to two hours.
The authors concluded:
“Findings of the present meta-analysis indicate that music therapy provides short-term beneficial effects for people with depression. Music therapy added to treatment as usual (TAU) seems to improve depressive symptoms compared with TAU alone.”
“Music therapy also shows efficacy in decreasing anxiety levels and improving functioning of depressed individuals.”
Christian Gold of Uni Research Health and co-authors stated that more than 300 million people in the world suffer from depression, and that is predicted to become the leading cause of disability by 2020.
Music Therapy For Depression In Dementia Patients
Another review found that music-based interventions reduced symptoms of depression in patients with dementia. There is no cure for dementia, but researchers noted that non-pharmaceutical treatments music therapy possibly improving the mental state of these patients is good news.
For the analysis, researchers examined databases, information from music therapy conferences and music therapy journals. They included data from 16 controlled trials that consisted of more than 600 subjects, which were typically residing in nursing homes, over age 65, and all had some degree of dementia.
The interventions included both individual and group therapy sessions with participants and involved singing or playing an instrument. Some trials compared music therapy with standard care, and some compared it with other therapeutic activities, such as painting or cooking.
Music Therapy For Schizophrenia
Other research reveals that music-based interventions may improve the mental state of patients with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like disorders when combined with standard care, such as medication. Investigators reported improved global and mental state in these individuals, as well as social functioning and quality of life.