Since patients with schizophrenia often face medication challenges, utilizing non-medication approaches like music therapy are key. And according to a recent poster featured at the 2023 APA Annual Meeting, music therapy given to patients in an inpatient setting helped improve their negative symptoms, sleep disturbance, depression, emotional behavior, social function, and quality of life.
To effectively treat schizophrenia, it’s often necessary to go beyond the medicine cabinet. Because those with schizophrenia may deal with medication challenges such as non-compliance due to side effects, paranoia, poor self-care, and disorganization, non-medication therapies like music are key to improving health. A recent study presented at the 2023 APA Annual Meeting reviewed the role of music therapy for schizophrenia patients.
Researchers examined data from PubMed, the National Library of Medicine, and the Cochrane Library, focusing on key terms such as “music therapy,” “schizophrenia,” and “inpatient settings.” Patients with schizophrenia who were given music therapy in an inpatient setting showed positive changes in:
- Negative symptoms
- Sleep disturbance
- Emotional behavior
- Social function
- Quality of life
The results highlighted a consistent improvement in the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the findings were less clear regarding music’s impact on the positive symptoms of schizophrenia (e.g. hallucinations and delusions).
Based on this study, researchers recommend incorporating music therapy regularly for patients with schizophrenia treated in an inpatient psychiatric setting. Medication should also be used to treat the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Lastly, research is still needed to determine how long the positive impacts of music therapy last and to examine the effects beyond an inpatient setting.