Journal Club Discussion #5: Music Interventions in Mental Health

Hey readers! I just started my course called “OT in Mental Health”, so this topic seemed fitting this week! The article that we will be reading this week is called “Practice-Based Evidence for Effective Music-Making Interventions in Mental Health Settings” by James Whiton. The article can be found here for AOTA members: https://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=2714870&resultClick=3 

Background Info – There is limited research available regarding effective ways to implement music-making interventions in occupational therapy. The author sought to determine effective methods for music intervention that have been used among occupational therapists (OTs) and music therapists (MTs). I thought that this was a cool topic to learn more about because making or listening to music can be an important occupation that holds deep value for our clients. This seems like an area that OTs should know more about and intervene in more often.

The Results – This study found that OTs and MTs are both well-suited for using music interventions. The most effective music-making interventions used the voice, hands, feet, and/or drums (Whiton, 2018). However, music choice and instrument should be client-led. For example, if a client plays the guitar, then the intervention should be completed using a guitar. Interventions should be meaningful and enjoyable for the client(s). Check out the journal article for more results!

What I Think – I think that music is a great area for OTs to intervene. Music often holds deep value for individuals and can have a calming effect when listened to or created. This seems like a very fitting intervention in a mental health setting. We will be leading groups in mental health lab this semester, so I am curious to see if any of my peers include music in their interventions!

Question of the Week – Do you work in a mental health setting? If so, have you ever used music-making as an intervention? Comment below!

Citation: Whiton, J. (2018) “Practice-based evidence for effective music-making interventions in mental health settings.” American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2018.72S1-PO4035

Thanks for reading!

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