Effects of Music Therapy on Drug Avoidance Self-efficacy in Patients on a Detoxification Unit: A Three-group Randomized Effectiveness Study


Journal of Addictions Nursing




Self-efficacy is a component of Bandura's social cognitive theory and can lead to abstinence and a reduction of relapse potential for people who have substance abuse disorders. To date, no music therapy researcher has utilized this theoretical model to address abstinence and reduce the likelihood of relapse in people who have addictions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of music therapy on drug avoidance self-efficacy in a randomized three-group wait-list control design with patients on a detoxification unit. Participants (N = 131) were cluster randomized to one of three single-session conditions: music therapy, verbal therapy, or wait-list control. Music therapy participants received a group lyric analysis intervention, verbal therapy participants received a group talk therapy session, and wait-list control participants eventually received a group recreational music therapy intervention. Although there was no significant between-group difference in drug avoidance self-efficacy, participants in the music therapy condition tended to have the highest mean drug avoidance self-efficacy scores. Posttest written comments supported the use of both music therapy and verbal therapy sessions. Two music therapy participants specifically noted that their initial skepticism had dissipated after receiving music therapy. Despite a lack of significant differences, the theoretical support of self-efficacy for substance abuse rehabilitation suggests that this may be an area of continued clinical focus and empirical investigation. Clinical anecdotes, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Detox Setting; Music Medicine; Questionnaires; Relapse Prevention; Self-Efficacy; Song Lyric Discussion; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction

Indexed Terms

Inpatients; Self Efficacy; Substance Withdrawal Syndrome; Substance-Related Disorders; Surveys and Questionnaires

Study Type

Case-Control Study; Qualitative Methods

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Document Type