Music Therapy Perspectives
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of group music therapy on levels of self-reported negative affect (NA) among men and women on a residential unit of an integrated dual diagnosis treatment program.
More specifically, we sought to determine if and to what degree engagement in composition, receptive (listening), re-creation (performing), and improvisation experiences would result in a shift—namely, a decrease—in the intensity of self-reported NA.
Participants were adults in residential treatment who had been diagnosed with co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illnesses (MIs), predominantly mood and anxiety disorders. Twenty group-music-therapy sessions were held on the unit. Three researcher-developed visual analogue scales were used to assess pre- and postsession levels of anxiety, anger, and sadness.
In total, 89 surveys were analyzed. Results indicate that nearly a third of the participants who were involved in the treatment groups reported a decrease in anxiety, sadness, and anger combined, with more than half of the responses in each of these three emotional states indicating a decrease.
While these are encouraging results, generalization of findings is limited primarily by the use of a nonstandardized measurement tool, the absence of a control group, the possibility of intentional deceit, and the potential for researcher bias in the collection and compilation of the data.
Copyright © 2013, American Music Therapy Association
American Music Therapy Association
Gardstrom, Susan; Bartkowski, Jacklyn; Willenbrink, Joy; and Diestelkamp, Wiebke S., "The Impact of Group Music Therapy on Negative Affect of People with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illnesses" (2013). Music Faculty Publications. 4.