A Systematic Review of Unpublished and Non-refereed Music Therapy Mental Health Papers Found Via Google Scholar






As Google Scholar searches yield unpublished papers, it may inadvertently impact the perception of the music therapy literature for clinicians, researchers, and service users. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review was to identify and analyze the current literature comprised of unpublished and non-refereed papers regarding music therapy and mental health from January 2000 to September 2017 located via Google Scholar. After establishing inclusion and exclusion criteria, papers were identified using a variety of combinations of music therapy and mental health keywords. Twenty-one papers met inclusion criteria. Sixteen papers were master’s theses and five were doctoral dissertations. Almost half of the papers (n = 8) involved adolescents with mental health diagnoses. Although not all papers contained data, more papers contained qualitative data (n = 10) than quantitative data (n = 3). The unpublished music therapy and mental health literature may represent a valuable resource for guiding clinical practice and research. As the majority of authors were affiliated with universities outside the United States, perhaps there is greater interest in mental health outside the United States. It is concerning that many identified papers required additional login credentials. Implications for clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Therapy

Indexed Terms

Mental health; Clinical medicine; Systematic review; Dissertations & theses; Literature; United States

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type


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