The Influence of Music on the Symptoms of Psychosis: A Meta-analysis


Journal of Music Therapy




The purpose of this study was to analyze the existing quantitative research evaluating the influence of music upon the symptoms of psychosis. A meta-analysis was conducted on 19 studies. Results indicated that music has proven to be significantly effective in suppressing and combating the symptoms of psychosis (d = +0.71). However, there were no differing effects between live versus recorded music and between structured music therapy groups versus passive listening. Nor were there differing effects between preferred versus therapist-selected music. Additionally, classical music did not prove as effective as nonclassical music in reducing psychotic symptoms. This supports the therapeutic potential of popular music while dispelling the theory that classical music provides the form and structure that can contribute to mental health and well-being. Further quantitative research is recommended and strongly warranted to refine unique aspects of music therapy interventions effective for those with psychotic symptoms.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Psychiatric Symptoms; Psychological Outcomes; Psychotic Disorders; Receptive Music Methods; Recorded Music Listening; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Depression; Psychotic Disorders; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Research Design; Schizophrenia

Study Type

Meta-Analysis; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type