The additional therapeutic effect of group music therapy for schizophrenic patients: a randomized study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 Nov;116(5):362-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01073.x.


Objective: Schizophrenia is one of the most serious mental disorders. Music therapy has only recently been introduced as a form of treatment. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of music therapy for schizophrenic in-patients needing acute care.

Method: Thirty-seven patients with psychotic disorders were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group. Both groups received medication and treatment indicated for their disorder. Additionally, the experimental group (n = 21) underwent group music therapy.

Results: Significant effects of music therapy are found in patients' self-evaluation of their psychosocial orientation and for negative symptoms. No differences were found in the quality of life.

Conclusion: Musical activity diminishes negative symptoms and improves interpersonal contact. These positive effects of music therapy could increase the patient's abilities to adapt to the social environment in the community after discharge from the hospital.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Environment


  • Antipsychotic Agents