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Music therapy for in-patients with schizophrenia: Exploratory randomised controlled trial

  • Nakul Talwar (a1), Mike J. Crawford (a2), Anna Maratos (a1), Ula Nur (a3), Orii McDermott (a1) and Simon Procter (a4)...

Music therapy may provide a means of improving mental health among people with schizophrenia, but its effects in acute psychoses have not been explored.


To examine the feasibility of a randomised trial of music therapy for in-patients with schizophrenia, and explore its effects on mental health.


Up to 12 weeks of individual music therapy plus standard care were compared with standard care alone. Masked assessments of mental health, global functioning and satisfaction with care were conducted at 3 months.


Of 115 eligible patients 81 (70%) were randomised. Two-thirds of those randomised to music therapy attended at least four sessions (median attendance, eight sessions). Multivariate analysis demonstrated a trend towards improved symptom scores among those randomised to music therapy, especially in general symptoms of schizophrenia.


A randomised trial of music therapy for in-patients with schizophrenia is feasible. The effects and cost-effectiveness of music therapy for acute psychosis should be further explored in an explanatory randomised trial.

Corresponding author
Dr Mike Crawford, Department of Psychological Medicine, Claybrook Centre, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RP, UK. Tel: +44(0)207 386 1233; fax: +44 (0)207 386 1216; email:
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Music therapy for in-patients with schizophrenia: Exploratory randomised controlled trial

  • Nakul Talwar (a1), Mike J. Crawford (a2), Anna Maratos (a1), Ula Nur (a3), Orii McDermott (a1) and Simon Procter (a4)...
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