Previous studies reported that music therapy (MT) exerts a positive effect on many medical and neuropsychiatric disorders. The use of MT has been proposed also for patients with severe mental illnesse (SMI), altrough further studies are still needed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects on a structured MT program on clinical and social functioning indices of patient with SMI, hospitalized in an psychiatric emergency ward.
The MT intervention followed the Benenzon model of MT and was delivered biweekly to 61 patients consecutively admittted to the psychiatric emergency ward. Subjects who did not complete the two-week MT intervention (N=45) were considered as the control group. all subjects were administred the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) to evaluate the general psychopatology, the Hospital Anxiety And Depression Scale (HADS) for affective symptomatology, the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI-S) for severity of symptoms and the Global Assestment of Functioning (GAF) for psychosocial functioning.
A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that patients who unerwent the MT intervention had a statistically significant reduction of general and affective psychopatology scores and of symptoms severity with respect to the control group, after observation period.
Our result are in line with previous studies confirming that MT may exert positive effects on psychopatology (in particular, on affective symptomatology) of patient with SMI, and extend this observation to an emergency setting, with short period of hospital stay.