Effects of Active Music Therapy Interventions on Attendance in People With Severe Mental Illnesses: Two Pilot Studies


The Arts in Psychotherapy




The purpose of these brief pilot studies was to determine if there were differences between active music therapy and passive music listening in attendance rates, durational attendance, and treatment perceptions in people with severe mental illnesses. In both studies, the researchers conducted a series of active group music therapy interventions (lyric analysis, songwriting, music game, facilitated percussion interventions, and singalong) and passive group music listening sessions (recorded music via iPod) each for five days. During the first study, a higher percentage (15.53%) of patients on the unit attended the active music therapy sessions than the passive music listening sessions. Concerning treatment perceptions, participants in the active music therapy condition tended to have slightly higher mean perceptions of enjoyment and comfort than participants in the passive music listening condition. During the second study, participants spent more time in active music therapy sessions than in passive music listening sessions. Participants in the active music therapy condition also tended to have higher perceptions of helpfulness and amount learned concerning managing their mental illnesses than participants in the passive music listening condition. Results may have implications for funding psychiatric music therapy. Limitations and suggestions for future research are provided. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Composition; Mental Health; Music Therapy; Musical Games and Activities; Receptive Music Methods; Recorded Music Listening; Singing a Song; Song Lyric Discussion; Songwriting

Indexed Terms

interventions; mental illness; treatment perception; treatment attendance; Intervention; Mental Disorders; Treatment Compliance; Serious Mental Illness

Study Type

Phenomenological Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type