April 21, 2005

Music Therapy & Schizophrenia

Music therapy may help people with schizophrenia

A recent review of music therapy for schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders (on medicalnewstoday.com) concludes that "when added to standard care, music therapy helps people with schizophrenia improve their global state, mental state and social functioning"

"People have made claims for many years about music therapy in a large number of different disorders. To assess whether there is strong evidence to support this claim [in terms of therapy for schizophrenia], a team of Cochrane Review Authors looked at four studies that met their stringent inclusion criteria. Each study compared standard care with standard care augmented by music therapy. The studies looked for differences in outcome 1-3 months after treatment. The number of sessions that patients went to ranged from 7.5 to 78.

In the four studies that were looked at in this review, patients who received the music therapy outperformed thos that received standard care alone. This has been demonstrated before - and the open issue that remains to be proven is if the effects are long lasting or more "placebo-like" in that the effects only work are evident for a while, and then go away. We await some new and more exhaustive research.

Recent [completed in the past 15 years] studies on Music as treatment for people who have schizophrenia include the following:

Meta-analysis of assisted music therapy for chronic schizophrenia

Effects of group musical therapy on inpatients with chronic psychoses: a controlled study

Can music alleviate cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia?

Music therapy evaluated by schizophrenic patients

Karaoke therapy in the rehabilitation of mental patients

Music improvisation with schizophrenic patients--a controlled study in the assessment of therapeutic effects

News Story: Medical News Today Music therapy can help people with schizophrenia

Source: Gold et al: Music therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like illnesses. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005 Issue 2.


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