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Modelling of intensive group music therapy - Fellowship C Carr

Centre for Psychiatry

Funding Body: the NIHR Clinical Academic Training Pathway for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals, Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship for C. Carr (CAT CDRF 10-006)
Project Investigator: Stefan Priebe


The evidence base for the use of music therapy in the treatment of severe mental illness is growing, but little attention has been paid on how to best provide music therapy to specifically address acute inpatient needs. On acute inpatient wards, patients may be admitted involuntarily, have varied reasons and purposes for admission and lengths of stay are increasingly short. Music therapists have adapted their practice to meet these challenges but the manner in which they have adapted their work has not been systematically investigated.

The aim of this PhD is to build a model of processes and outcomes of group music therapy with acute adult psychiatric inpatients and to assess the acceptability of increasing the frequency of therapy.

Activities and outputs

A systematic review of international literature was conducted to identify clinical aims and considerations, common features of music therapy provision and findings from studies conducted within acute inpatient settings [1]. Two features identified were an increased frequency of therapy, and the use of active structured music making followed by verbal reflection.

Building on this review, a study to develop a model of music therapy for acute inpatients will explore the role of these features and their impact upon patient experiences. The study uses mixed methods and will provide evidence for a model of music therapy practice specific to acute inpatient settings.

For more information please visit: Modelling of Group Music Therapy

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