Comparison of Two Educational Music Therapy Interventions on Recovery Knowledge and Affect: A Cluster-randomized Study

Michael J. Silverman


Although illness management and recovery is an established evidence-based treatment for adult mental health consumers, there is a dearth of music therapy research in this critical area. The purpose of this cluster-randomized effectiveness study was to determine the effects of different levels of structure within educational music therapy interventions on knowledge of illness management and recovery and affect in adult acute care mental health inpatients. Participants (N=115) were randomly assigned by cluster to one of three single-session group-based conditions: high-structure educational music therapy (HS-EMT), low-structure educational music therapy (LS-EMT), or wait-list control (WLC). Significant between-group differences were found in knowledge of illness management and recovery between the HS-EMT condition and both the LS-EMT and WLC condition, with the HS-EMT condition having more favorable means. Significant between-group differences were also found in positive affect between the LS-EMT condition and both the HS-EMT and WLC conditions, with the LS-EMT condition having more favorable means. The HS-EMT intervention, which had previously lacked empirical investigation, may be ideal for efficiently and effectively imparting knowledge concerning illness management and recovery in acute mental health settings. Implications for clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are included.