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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 4, 2011

 

A new Finnish study finds that combining music therapy with a standard treatment for depression — medication, plus psychotherapy and counseling — improves patient outcomes.

 

Researchers believe the addition of music therapy allows people to better express their emotions and reflect on their inner feelings.

 

The study is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

 

Researchers from the University of Jyväskylä recruited 79 people between the ages of 18 and 50 years old who had been diagnosed with depression. Thirty-three of the participants were offered 20 music therapy sessions, in addition to their usual treatment for depression.

 

In Finland, standard treatment antidepressants drug therapy, five to six individual psychotherapy sessions and psychiatric counselling.

 

The other 46 participants received standard treatment, and acted as the control group.

 

The one-on-one music therapy sessions each lasted 60 minutes and took place twice a week. Trained music therapists helped each participant to improvise music using percussion instruments and drums.

 

On average, each participant attended 18 music therapy sessions. Twenty-nine individuals (88 percent) attended at least 15 sessions. The participants in both groups were followed up at three and six months and assessed for symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 

In the final analysis, researchers discovered that after three months of participation, individuals who received music therapy demonstrated significantly fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and scored better on general functioning.

 

Read in Full:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/08/04/music-therapy-aids-in-depression-treatment/28357.html



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