Effects of a Single-session Assertiveness Music Therapy Role Playing Protocol for Psychiatric Inpatients

M. J. Silverman


The purpose of this study was to implement and measure the effectiveness of a single-session assertiveness music therapy role playing protocol for psychiatric inpatients. Participants (N=133) were randomly assigned by group to one of three conditions: (a) Assertiveness Music Therapy, (b) No Music Assertiveness, or (c) Music No Assertiveness. Participants in both assertiveness conditions role played a number of different commonly occurring scenarios at an inpatient psychiatric facility and in the community. There were no significant between-group differences in posttest quality of life, locus of control, or other subscales. However, participants in both assertiveness conditions tended to have slightly higher internal locus of control and overall quality of life scores than participants in the music no assertiveness condition. Additionally, the assertiveness music therapy condition had higher attendance rates than the other conditions. A higher percentage of participants from both the assertiveness music therapy and music no assertiveness conditions indicated they thought their session was the most helpful/therapeutic group therapy session in which they had participated; this was not the case for the assertiveness no music condition. Future research is warranted to measure the effects of protocols that can help psychiatric patients generalize skills learned in treatment.