Using brain scans to study the effects of music therapy, researchers recently discovered that synchronicity could enhance therapy. The brain activity of the client and therapist tended to increase at the same time during a specific moment in the music therapy session. Researchers also noted a heightened activity in the visual cortex. This finding has significant implications for music therapy. Future research should explore the relationship between synchronicity and the effectiveness of music therapy.
Cochrane review of music therapy
A Cochrane review of music therapy has found evidence of the effectiveness of the treatment. The effectiveness of music therapy is demonstrated by its ability to improve emotional wellbeing and promote physical activity. Music can be therapeutic and may include playing instruments and composing music. Music therapists work in multidisciplinary teams to design treatment plans that work for each patient. A particular approach to music therapy is Dalcroze Eurythmics, developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. The treatment is effective for enhancing the client’s physical awareness and assisting with motor difficulties.
The Cochrane Review focused on studies of the effects of music in different settings on patients suffering from depression. While the quality of the studies varied, most showed a reduction in depression symptoms compared to non-music listeners. Another review in the Journal of Advanced Nursing examined the effects of music therapy on hospitalized patients. This meta-analysis analyzed 19 studies to find that music therapy helped reduce anxiety levels among hospitalized patients. Despite the lack of measurable results for depression, it did improve vital signs and improved quality of life.
Exclusion criteria for music therapy
Research has proven the effectiveness of music therapy in patients who have cancer. This intervention combines physical and psychological stimulation with music. The interventions can be performed with musical instruments, dance, or choreography. Music therapy can include pre-recorded recordings or live performances. Some studies use basic instruments built together to create a unique musical experience for each patient. Researchers should report on the details of music interventions to ensure the participants are not misled.
No article studied classical music. The only study in which there was no significant depression reduction was Silverman’s (2011). Furthermore, no article evaluated jazz or classical music. Five articles used stimuli produced during live performances. This was deemed insufficient because no studies evaluated music-making in other contexts. Therefore, there are many limitations and questions to consider when conducting research in this area. Listed below are some of the most common exclusion criteria:
Effects of music therapy on depression
Among the numerous benefits of music therapy, one of the most important is its ability to change people’s feelings. During music therapy, clients are encouraged to listen to any improvisation. They are also given specific improvisations to listen to at home. In subsequent sessions, the clients and the music therapist discussed the improvisations they had heard. The music therapy session is conducted in a relaxed environment. Music therapy aims to help clients cope with their depression and improve their overall wellbeing.
In the study, 55 RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. The sample size varied from 20 to 242 people. The participants ranged in age from twelve to eighty-six. A total of 16 scales were used to measure depression in participants. Thirty-two studies involved a certified music therapist, while fifteen did not. Ten studies failed to report relevant information. Therefore, the meta-analysis found that the music therapy group significantly reduced participants’ mean depression scores and increased their perceptions of the process.
Effects of music therapy on anxiety
The effect of music therapy on patients with anxiety was studied in a controlled trial. The researchers assigned patients to two groups. One group received music therapy sessions, while the other had a usual care regimen. Participants in the experimental group listened to relaxing music on an iPod attached to a musical pillow. The patients were allowed to choose their music. Physiologic measures were taken before and after the intervention. In addition, patients completed a questionnaire known as the Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).
The study concluded that music therapy significantly reduced participants’ anxiety levels. Similarly, the results showed positive effects in patients with social anxiety. Moreover, music therapy improved the participants’ ability to communicate. One of the main benefits of music therapy is the increased level of emotional intelligence, which helps people be aware of their emotions. Additionally, people who receive music therapy experience an improvement in their social and professional lives. This study is a step towards a better future for these people.