The Impact of Group Music Therapy on Negative Affect of People with Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illnesses

Susan C. Gardstrom, Jacklyn Bartkowski, Joy Willenbrink, Wiebke S. Diestelkamp
2013 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
more » ... 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 post-session 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 non-standardized 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.
doi:10.1093/mtp/31.2.116 fatcat:6c2cjk2kgbdybottb75unvlamu