The Effect of a Lyric Analysis Intervention on Withdrawal Symptoms and Locus of Control in Patients on a Detoxification Unit: A Randomized Effectiveness Study.

Michael J. Silverman


Withdrawal symptoms are one of the primary reasons people enter a detoxification facility while internal locus of control has been associated with maintenance of sobriety and relapse prevention. The purpose of this study was to determine if a music therapy lyric analysis intervention could affect withdrawal symptoms and locus of control in patients who were in detoxification. Participants (N = 118) were randomized into a music therapy lyric analysis condition or a verbal therapy condition by group. After the session, participants completed a posttest with established psychometric instruments measuring symptoms of withdrawal and locus of control. Although there were no significant differences between groups, results indicated that patients in detoxification facility tended to have slightly less severe withdrawal symptoms after a music therapy session than after a verbal psychotherapy session. Participants in the experimental group tended to have slightly higher mean external of control scores. A greater number of inpatients attended the music therapy sessions than the verbal therapy control sessions, potentially providing implications for funding and billing. Most participants indicated they thought the music therapy (experimental) or relapse prevention (control condition) was most helpful/therapeutic program in which they had participated on the unit. Concerning free response written comments on the posttest, participants in the experimental condition made more comments categorized into the “positive change” category than participants in the control condition. Limitations, implications for clinical practice, and suggestions for future research are provided.