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Effectiveness of music therapy: a summary of systematic reviews based on randomized controlled trials of music interventions

Authors Kamioka H, Tsutani K, Yamada M, Park H, Okuizumi H, Tsuruoka K, Honda T, Okada S, Park S, Kitayuguchi J, Abe T, Handa S, Oshio T, Mutoh Y

Received 25 January 2014

Accepted for publication 21 February 2014

Published 16 May 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 727—754


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Hiroharu Kamioka,1 Kiichiro Tsutani,2 Minoru Yamada,3 Hyuntae Park,4 Hiroyasu Okuizumi,5 Koki Tsuruoka,6 Takuya Honda,7 Shinpei Okada,8 Sang-Jun Park,8 Jun Kitayuguchi,9 Takafumi Abe,9 Shuichi Handa,5 Takuya Oshio,10 Yoshiteru Mutoh11

1Faculty of Regional Environment Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan; 2Department of Drug Policy and Management, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; 3Kyoto University Graduate School Research, Kyoto, Japan; 4Department of Functioning Activation, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Aichi, Japan; 5Mimaki Onsen (Spa) Clinic, Tomi, Nagano, Japan; 6Graduate School of Social Services, Japan College of Social Work, Tokyo, Japan; 7Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan; 8Physical Education and Medicine Research Foundation, Tomi, Nagano, Japan; 9Physical Education and Medicine Research Center Unnan, Shimane, Japan; 10Social Welfare Service Corporation CARE-PORT MIMAKI, Tomi, Nagano, Japan; 11The Research Institute of Nippon Sport Science University, Tokyo, Japan

Objective: The objective of this review was to summarize evidence for the effectiveness of music therapy (MT) and to assess the quality of systematic reviews (SRs) based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Study design: An SR of SRs based on RCTs.
Methods: Studies were eligible if they were RCTs. Studies included were those with at least one treatment group in which MT was applied. We searched the following databases from 1995 to October 1, 2012: MEDLINE via PubMed, CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Web of Science, Global Health Library, and Ichushi-Web. We also searched all Cochrane Database and Campbell Systematic Reviews up to October 1, 2012. Based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, we identified a disease targeted for each article.
Results: Twenty-one studies met all inclusion criteria. This study included 16 Cochrane reviews. As a whole, the quality of the articles was very good. Eight studies were about "Mental and behavioural disorders (F00-99)"; there were two studies on "Diseases of the nervous system (G00-99)" and "Diseases of the respiratory system (J00-99)"; and there was one study each for "Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (E00-90)", "Diseases of the circulatory system (I00-99)", and "Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (O60)". MT treatment improved the following: global and social functioning in schizophrenia and/or serious mental disorders, gait and related activities in Parkinson's disease, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality.
Conclusion: This comprehensive summary of SRs demonstrated that MT treatment improved the following: global and social functioning in schizophrenia and/or serious mental disorders, gait and related activities in Parkinson's disease, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality. MT may have the potential for improving other diseases, but there is not enough evidence at present. Most importantly, no specific adverse effect or harmful phenomenon occurred in any of the studies, and MT was well tolerated by almost all patients.

Keywords: ICD-10, schizophrenia, mental disorders, Parkinson's disease, depression, sleep

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