Effects of Music Therapy on Change and Depression on Clients in Detoxification


Journal of Addictions Nursing




The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of music therapy on readiness to change, depression, and treatment perceptions during a randomized effectiveness study utilizing psychometric instruments and 1-month follow-up. Participants (N= 140) were inpatients in a detoxification unit and were randomly assigned by group to a music therapy songwriting condition or a verbal therapy condition. At immediate posttest, results indicated no significant between group differences in change readiness or depression, although the music therapy condition tended to have slightly higher mean change and slightly lower mean depression scores. At immediate posttest, the music therapy condition had significantly higher perceptions of helpfulness, enjoyment (bothp< .001), and comfort (p< .04) than the control condition. Results at 1 month follow-up indicated that participants in the music therapy condition tended to have higher perceptions of mean enjoyment but slightly lower mean perceptions of helpfulness than the control condition. Furthermore, although not significant, the music therapy group tended to have slightly lower depression scores at follow-up. Emerging themes from participants' comments at immediate posttest and follow-up indicated the experimental group made more statements concerning enjoyment, thanks/appreciation, continuation of the music therapy program, and positive cognitive changes than the control group. Emerging themes from composed blues lyrics included consequences of using and insight/change. From the results of this study, it seems that music therapy can be as effective as verbal therapy in measures of change readiness, depression, and treatment perceptions for consumers in detoxification.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Composition; Depression; Detox Setting; Mood Scales; Music Medicine; Patient Satisfaction; Questionnaires; Songwriting; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction

Study Type

Case-Control Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type