Effects of a Single Lyric Analysis Intervention on Withdrawal and Craving With Inpatients on a Detoxification Unit: A Cluster-randomized Effectiveness Study

Michael J. Silverman


BACKGROUND: For patients hospitalized on inpatient detoxification units, reducing negative symptoms such as withdrawal and craving is a key treatment area. Although lyric analysis is a commonly utilized music therapy intervention for clients in substance abuse rehabilitation, there is a lack of randomized controlled music therapy studies systematically investigating how lyric analysis interventions can affect patients on a detoxification unit. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this cluster-randomized effectiveness study was to measure the effects of single-session group lyric analysis interventions on withdrawal and craving with patients on a detoxification unit. A secondary purpose of this study was to determine if relationships existed between treatment effects and participants' familiarity with the song. METHODS: Participants (N = 144) were cluster-randomized to experimental (posttest only) or wait-list control (pretest only) conditions to provide treatment to all participants in an inclusive single-session design. RESULTS: Although participants in the experimental condition had lower withdrawal and craving means than participants in the control condition, these differences were not significant. Familiarity of the song in the lyric analysis was not related to withdrawal or craving. CONCLUSION: Group-based lyric analysis interventions may be effective for temporarily relieving withdrawal and craving in patients on a detoxification unit. Familiarity of the song did not affect results. Implications for clinical practice, suggestions for future research, and limitations are provided.