Perceptions of music therapy interventions from inpatients with severe mental illness: A mixed-methods approach

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Due to their unique set of symptoms and the way psychiatric facilities are set up to provide treatment, it can be difficult to systematically study the effects of a psychosocial intervention on people with serious mental illness (SMI) in an inpatient setting. The purpose of this study was to obtain perceptions of different music therapy interventions utilizing a mixed-methods approach with psychiatric inpatients diagnosed with SMI. The researcher provided five different commonly utilized music therapy sessions on an inpatient unit. Participants rated an individual music game as the most helpful and a group music game as the most enjoyable on separate Likert-Type Scales. To obtain qualitative data, the researcher conducted an individual interview with each participant after the sessions. Analyses of participant interviews indicated that participants (1) were able to articulate what they had done in the group music therapy intervention, (2) were able to explain the purpose and general group objective of the session, and (3) supported the use of music therapy on the unit. Consistent with the current literature, analyses of qualitative and quantitative data revealed no overt differences between music therapy intervention types. Limitations of the study, generalization caveats, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-268
Number of pages5
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Chronic mental illness
  • Mixed methods
  • Music therapy
  • Serious
  • Severe mental illness


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