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A pilot music group for young people attending a community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

  • J. McDonald (a1), A. Codrea (a1) and B. Gavin (a1)

There is a strong and growing body of evidence supporting the mental health benefits of music. With regard to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) there is a need for creative, child friendly approaches to improve rapport and promote engagement. This study was established as an exploratory pilot project to assess the feasibility of a running a music group within a CAMHS setting as well as any potential benefit to the mental health of a group of diagnostically heterogeneous young people attending the service.


Five young people attending the out-patient clinic participated in a weekly music group over the course of 2 months. Feedback was obtained using a study specific questionnaire as well as baseline and follow-up Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires.


The music group was described as an enjoyable experience in the clinic setting and young people identified benefits with regard to mood, self-confidence and social skills. Attendance at appointments within the clinic was good for the duration of the group, suggesting a benefit in encouraging engagement.


A music group is a welcome intervention in a CAMHS setting with potential positive benefits for both the service and service users. Further work is needed to establish specific mental health benefits of music-based interventions in young people with mental health difficulties.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: J. McDonald, Lucena Clinic, 59 Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6. (Email:
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Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
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