Article

Music therapy for depression

Central and Northwest London Foundation NHS Trust, Arts Therapies, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London, UK, NW1 7QY.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 02/2008; 1(1):CD004517. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004517.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Depression is a highly prevalent disorder associated with reduced social functioning, impaired quality of life, and increased mortality. Music therapy has been used in the treatment of a variety of mental disorders, but its impact on those with depression is unclear.
To examine the efficacy of music therapy with standard care compared to standard care alone among people with depression and to compare the effects of music therapy for people with depression against other psychological or pharmacological therapies.
CCDANCTR-Studies and CCDANCTR-References were searched on 7/11/2007, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycLit, PSYindex, and other relevant sites were searched in November 2006. Reference lists of retrieved articles were hand searched, as well as specialist music and arts therapies journals.
All randomised controlled trials comparing music therapy with standard care or other interventions for depression.
Data on participants, interventions and outcomes were extracted and entered onto a database independently by two review authors. The methodological quality of each study was also assessed independently by two review authors. The primary outcome was reduction in symptoms of depression, based on a continuous scale.
Five studies met the inclusion criteria of the review. Marked variations in the interventions offered and the populations studied meant that meta-analysis was not appropriate. Four of the five studies individually reported greater reduction in symptoms of depression among those randomised to music therapy than to those in standard care conditions. The fifth study, in which music therapy was used as an active control treatment, reported no significant change in mental state for music therapy compared with standard care. Dropout rates from music therapy conditions appeared to be low in all studies.
Findings from individual randomised trials suggest that music therapy is accepted by people with depression and is associated with improvements in mood. However, the small number and low methodological quality of studies mean that it is not possible to be confident about its effectiveness. High quality trials evaluating the effects of music therapy on depression are required.

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    • "Several Cochrane Reviews into MT have reported mixed outcomes. Two reviews have reported a positive effect, namely MT might be firstly, an acceptable intervention for persons with depression and secondly importantly, that MT had a positive effect in reducing depressive symptoms (Maratos et al., 2008); and MT may have a positive effect on the communicative skills of children with autistic spectrum disorder (Gold et al., 2006). In contrast, a third review found no overall conclusion could be made from the evaluation of the effect of MT for people with dementia due to studies having insufficient sample size and analyses (Vink et al., 2004). "
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    International Journal of Older People Nursing 10/2014; 10(2). DOI:10.1111/opn.12071
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    • "Based upon low participant drop-out rate, the music therapy was considered to be a well-tolerated treatment. Maratos et al. [3] concluded that overall quality ratings of the studies included was moderate to poor. They state that larger more rigorous studies are required which recruit sufficiently powered larger sample sizes and incorporate economic evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of treatment in comparison to standardised remedies for depression. "
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    Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 08/2014; 20(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.07.011
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    • "Indeed, music is used by most people for self-regulation of emotions in everyday life [19], [20], and its power to reduce tension, modulate mood, and raise energy has been widely documented [19], [21], [22]. Music is used to modulate affective states in a large number of neurological and psychiatric disorders [23], and brain traumas [24]–[26]. Naturally, the effect of music on listeners is mediated by music culture and individual preferences, which are in turn correlated with age, gender, personality, listening biography, and cognitive style [27], [28]. "
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