The effect of improvisational music therapy on the treatment of depression: protocol for a randomised controlled trial

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Show simple item record Erkkilä, Jaakko Gold, Christian Fachner, Jörg Ala-Ruona, Esa Punkanen, Marko Vanhala, Mauno 2012-11-16T12:45:59Z 2012-11-16T12:45:59Z 2008
dc.identifier.citation Erkkilä, J., Gold, C., Fachner, J., Ala-Ruona, E., Punkanen, M., & Vanhala, M. (2008). The effect of improvisational music therapy on the treatment of depression: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 8 (50). Retrieved from
dc.identifier.issn 1471-244X
dc.description.abstract Background. Music therapy is frequently offered to individuals suffering from depression. Despite the lack of research into the effects of music therapy on this population, anecdotal evidence suggests that the results are rather promising. The aim of this study is to examine whether improvisational, psychodynamically orientated music therapy in an individual setting helps reduce symptoms of depression and improve other health-related outcomes. In particular, attention will be given to mediator agents, such as musical expression and interaction in the sessions, as well as to the explanatory potential of EEG recordings in investigating emotion related music perception of individuals with depression. Methods. 85 adults (18–50 years of age) with depression (ICD-10: F 32 or F33) will be randomly assigned to an experimental or a control condition. All participants will receive standard care, but the experimental group will be offered biweekly sessions of improvisational music therapy over a period of 3 months. A blind assessor will measure outcomes before testing, after 3 months, and after 6 months. Discussion. This study aims to fill a gap in knowledge as to whether active (improvisational) music therapy applied to people with depression improves their condition. For the first time in this context, the mediating processes, such as changes in musical expression and interaction during the course of therapy, will be objectively investigated, and it is expected that the results will provide new insights into these processes. Furthermore, the findings are expected to reveal whether music related emotional experiences, as measured by EEG, can be utilized in assessing a depressive client's improvement in the therapy. The size and the comprehensiveness of the study are sufficient for generalizing its findings to clinical practice as well as to further music therapy research. Trial registration. ISRCTN84185937
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher BioMed Central (BMC)
dc.relation.ispartofseries BMC Psychiatry
dc.rights © 2008 Erkkilä et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
dc.rights openAccess fi
dc.subject.other depressio
dc.subject.other psykiatria
dc.subject.other improvisaatio
dc.subject.other musiikkiterapia
dc.subject.other RCT
dc.subject.other EEG
dc.subject.other depression
dc.subject.other psychiatry
dc.subject.other improvisation
dc.subject.other music therapy
dc.subject.other randomised controlled trial
dc.title The effect of improvisational music therapy on the treatment of depression: protocol for a randomised controlled trial
dc.type Article en
dc.subject.kota 613
dc.contributor.laitos Musiikin laitos fi
dc.contributor.laitos Department of Music en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/1471-244X-8-50 2012-11-15T14:54:18Z
dc.description.version Published version
dc.rights.holder Jaakko Erkkilä et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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