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Table 1 Studies in HBMT

From: Home-based music therapy - a systematic overview of settings and conditions for an innovative service in healthcare





Purpose of the study

Intervention/HBMT Technique



Study design

Hanser, SB & Thomson, LW



30 depressed home-bound adults ranged in age from 61 to 86

To examine a music-facilitated psychoeducational strategy as a cost-effective and accessible intervention

8 week program of receptive MT including 8 MT-techniques combined with mind/body interventions

Three groups with 10 patients each: (1) HBMT, (2) phone administered, and (3) control

Both HBMT and self-administered MT significantly increased in tests of depression, distress, self-esteem, and mood and remained stable after 9 month follow up

3-armed RCT with 9-month follow-up

Shiraishi, IM



14 multi-risk mothers ranged in age from 21 to 41 years

To explore the prevalence of anxiety and depression and the effectiveness of MT on these symptoms

8 week program of receptive MT

Three groups: (1) control (n = 4), (2) phone administered (n = 5) and (3) HBMT (n = 5)

Both HBMT and phone administered MT decreased depression and increased self-esteem levels. HBMT had subjective better gains than phone administered mothers

3-armed RCT

McBride, S



24 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (mean age: 69 ± 5,7 years)

To examine the feasibility of using music as an intervention for dyspnea and anxiety

Receptive instrumental MT (classical, new age, easy listening) on an individual schedule

No comparison

Using preferred music as an intervention led to a decline of dyspnea and anxiety

Single armed observational study with repeated measures

Hilliard,, RE



80 adults diagnosed with terminal cancer (mean age: 66 years (MT group) and 65 (control group)

To evaluate the effects of MT on quality of life and length of life in care

Individualized music therapy with a variety of interventions, e.g. singing, listening or instrument playing

Two groups: (1) Routine hospice services and MT versus (2) routine hospice services only

Results clearly support music therapy in hospice and palliative care for improving quality of life of people diagnosed with terminal cancer

Randomized experimental control-group design

Pasiali, V



3 children (7,8 and 9 years old) with autism (diagnosis ranging from high functioning to mildly impaired)

To investigate the effect of presciptive songs on promoting social skills aquisition by autistic children

Prescriptive therapeutic songs

No comparison

Results are not conclusive, but there are some hints that prescriptive songs are a viable intervention for children with autism

Three case studies with ABAB reversal design

Siedlecki, SL



60 patients aged from 21 to 65 with chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP)

To examine the effect of two music-listening interventions on measures of power, pain, depression, and disability in individuals with chronic non-malignant pain

Two music-listening interventions: a standard music (SM) intervention and a patterned music therapy (PM) intervention with pleasant familiar instrumental or vocal music or the sounds of nature

Three groups: (1) standard care without MT, (2) standard music interventions, (3) a patterned music therapy

Both music-listening interventions were equally effective for increasing power, and decreasing pain, depressive symptoms, and disability associated with CNMP. Patients were taught to use music at home to moderate these symptoms

3 armed RCT

Muthesius, D



40 patients with dementia

To explore the effectiveness of HBMT and the linked support for the caring situation

Singing songs and playing familiar music

No comparison

Similar effects to in-house treatment like emotional support or orientation. More and detailed biographical details from patients, their musical resources support carers and relatives to get positive impressions of the patients

Observational study with nested in single case vignettes

Chiang, JYK


New Zealand

4 carers (three mothers and one speech-langu age therapist) of children with special needs

To investigate how carergivers and other professionals perceive the music therapy process over time

Instrument playing, movement and listening to music, and singing of songs

No comparison

From the perspective of caregivers, music therapy allows them to collaborate with the music therapist. MT contributes to the development of reflective skills for delivering effective professional practice

Explorational qualitative study design with semi-structured interviews

Baker, F et al.



120 couples where one partner has a probable diagnosis of dementia

To advance the understanding of MT-techniques to enhance spousal relationship and reduce functional and emotional strain on the spousal caregiver

Singing familiar songs, movement to music, listening to music control: recreational reading intervention

Two groups: (1) active music intervention and (2) control group with recreational reading

Ongoing study

2 armed RCT

Thomas, A, et al.



191 clients of the Eastern Palliative Care (EPC) from 2007 to 2008

To evaluate the effectiveness of single MT in community based palliative care. Perspectives of clients, carers and therapists are included

Live or recorded music provided by Registered Music Therapists at the EPC who are specifically trained to support people in their own home with music therapy sessions

No comparison

Music therapy supports clients with a life-threatening illness to maintain and/or improve their quality of life and also supports family members in their role as caregivers.

Observational study with nested in qualitative study

Brandes, V



203 patients with depression and/or burnout and an average age of 49,6 +13,1 years

To investigate new strategies to improve therapy outcomes in psychosocial and antidepressant treatment

Individualized short-term receptive music therapy. MT was administered as single therapy or add-on therapy to antidepressants and/or psychotherapy

Four groups: (1) MT with specific newly composed music, (2) MT with specially arranged classical music, (3) a placebo group receiving nature sounds, and (4) a waiting-list control group.

Individualized short-term music therapy is beneficial as alternative or complementary depression treatment

4 armed RCT