Therapeutic Songwriting for Perceived Stigma and Perceived Social Support in Adults With Substance Use Disorder: A Cluster-randomized Effectiveness Study


Substance Use & Misuse




Background: Due to negative societal stereotypes associated with substance use disorder (SUD), many people with addictions experience perceived stigma and lack perceived social support. Perceived stigma can prevent people with SUD from seeking treatment while perceived social support can facilitate recovery. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a single music therapy songwriting intervention on perceived stigma and perceived social support in adults with SUD on a detoxification unit. Method: Participants (N = 132) were cluster-randomized to a therapeutic songwriting or control condition in a single-session design. The experimental condition received a highly structured group-based blues songwriting intervention wherein participants composed lyrics describing stigma against addiction as an inappropriate and false social construct in the first verse and coping with stigma by using social supports in the second verse. Results: Analyses of variance indicated no significant between-group difference in perceived stigma or perceived social support. Conclusions: Due to its non-threatening medium, therapeutic songwriting concerning perceived stigma and perceived social support may be clinically relevant way to target these sensitive yet essential topics. Implications for clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are included. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Composition; Detox Setting; Mental Health; Music Medicine; Psychological Outcomes; Self-Report Measures; Songwriting; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Addiction; detoxification; therapeutic songwriting; perceived stigma; substance use disorder; perceived social support; Social Support; Substance Use Treatment

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Randomized Controlled Trial

PubMed ID


Document Type