The purpose of this exploratory mixed-methods study was to determine the effects of family-based educational music therapy on acute care psychiatric patients and their families. Participants (n = 11 patients and n = 21 family members) were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: educational music therapy, education or music activity. The therapist's treatment notes from each session were thematically analysed. Although the sample size was small and quantitative results were not significant, patient and family member participants in the educational music therapy condition tended to have more positive post-test means. Emerging themes from treatment notes included: (a) complexity of treatment required attentive approach; (b) song lyrics provided action-oriented future dialogue; (c) songwriting provided needed structure; (d) participants were eager for interventions; (e) problem-solving techniques were effective; (f) flexibility required of the therapist; and (g) enjoyment and appreciation expressed by participants. Family-based educational music therapy may be an engaging illness management technique for psychiatric consumers and their families. Limitations, implications for clinical practice and suggestions for future research are provided.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this research was made possible through an Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Award from the American Music Therapy Association.
Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- educational music therapy
- family psychoeducation
- illness management
- mental illness
- mixed methods
- psychiatric patients