Music therapy and depression
background Music therapy is a predominantly non-verbal psychotherapy based on music improvisation, embedded in a therapeutic relationship. This is the reason why music therapy is also used to treat depression.
aim To examine the efficacy of music therapy and to report on the results of recent research into the value of music therapy as a treatment for depression.
method We reviewed the literature on recent research into music therapy and depression, reporting on the methods used and the results achieved, and we assessed the current position of music therapy for depression in the context of evidence-based scientific research.
results A wide variety of research methods was used to investigate the effects of using music therapy as a psychotherapy. Most studies focused usually on the added value that music therapy brings to the standard form of psychiatric treatment, when administered with or without psychopharmacological support. Music therapy produced particularly significant and favourable results when used to treat patients with depression.
conclusion Current research into music therapy and depression points to a significant and persistent reduction in patients’ symptoms and to improvements in their quality of life. However, further research is needed with regard to the best methods of illustrating the effects of music therapy.