Music Therapy for Coping Self-efficacy in an Acute Mental Health Setting: A Randomized Pilot Study

M. J. Silverman


For adults with mental illness, coping skills represent an integral component of illness management and recovery (IMR) programs. Music therapy can be used to target IMR but empirical research specific to coping is needed. The purpose of this study was to determine if educational music therapy can influence coping self-efficacy in acute care mental health inpatients. Adults on an acute care mental health unit (N = 92) were cluster-randomized to one of three single-session conditions over 24 group-based sessions: educational lyric analysis, educational songwriting, or control. Although results were not significant, both educational music therapy conditions tended to have more favorable coping self-efficacy subscale means than the control condition but there were negligible differences between lyric analysis and songwriting conditions. Results can be considered clinically relevant within the temporal parameters of single-session therapy typical in acute care settings. Limitations, implications for practice, and suggestions for future research are included.