Influence of Background Music on Work Attention in Clients With Chronic Schizophrenia


WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation




BACKGROUND: Work attention in persons with chronic schizophrenia is an important issue in vocational rehabilitation. Some of the research literature indicates that background music may influence visual attention performance. OBJECTIVES: Based on the theory of occupational therapy, environmental sounds, colors and decorations may affect individual performance, this study thus examined the influence of music on work attention in persons with schizophrenia. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were recruited from a halfway house in Taipei. Forty-nine (49) patients with chronic schizophrenia volunteered. They had been accepted into vocational rehabilitation and a work-seeking program. The sample included 20 females and 29 males. The participant ages ranged between 29 and 63 years old, and their average age was 47 years old. METHODS: Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study, the participants were assigned to one of three conditions: quiet environment as the control group (n= 16), classical light music as background music (n= 16), and popular music as background music (n= 17). RESULTS: For Group 1 (control group/quiet environment), there was no significant variance (sig = 0.172). For Group 2 (Classical light music), the intervention revealed significant variance (sig = 0.071*). For Group 3 (popular music), the intervention had significant variance (sig = 0.048**). CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of background music tended to increase attention test scores of persons with schizophrenia. Moreover, the increase in test attention scores was statistically significant when popular music was played in the background. This result suggested that background music may improve attention performance of persons with chronic schizophrenia. Future research is required with a larger sample size to support the study results.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Cognitive Abilities; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Psychotic Disorders; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Attention; Chronic Disease; Rehabilitation, Vocational; Schizophrenia; Schizophrenic Psychology; Task Performance and Analysis; Work; Occupational form; attention test; vocational rehabilitation

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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Document Type