The Impact of Group Music Therapy on Negative Affect of People With Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illnesses


Music Therapy Perspectives




The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of group music therapy on levels of self-reported negative affect (NA) among men and women on a residential unit of an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program. More specifically, we sought to determine if, and to what degree engagement in composition, receptive (listening), re-creation (performing), and improvisation experiences would result in a shift - namely, a decrease - in the intensity of self-reported NA. Participants were adults in residential treatment who had been diagnosed with co-occurring substance use disorders (SUD) and mental illnesses (MI), predominantly mood and anxiety disorders. Twenty group-music-therapy sessions were held on the unit. Three researcher-developed visual analogue scales were used to assess pre and postsession levels of anxiety, anger, and sadness. In total, 89 surveys were analyzed. Results indicate that nearly a third of the participants who were involved in the treatment groups reported a decrease in anxiety, sadness, and anger combined, with more than half of the responses in each of these three emotional states indicating a decrease. While these are encouraging results, generalization of findings is limited primarily by the use of a nonstandardized measurement tool, the absence of a control group, the possibility of intentional deceit, and the potential for researcher bias in the collection and compilation of the data. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anger; Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Drug Use, Abuse and Addiction; Improvisation; Inpatient Rehabilitation; Mental Health; Mood; Mood Scales; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Questionnaires; Recorded Music Listening; Recreative Music Methods; Sadness; Self-Concept; Self-Report Measures; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction; Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

Indexed Terms

Drug abuse; Data Collection; Case studies; Polls and Surveys; Statistical Analysis

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type