MUSIC THERAPY AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

J Music Ther. 2004 Fall;41(3):225-40

Active music therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients: a matched control study.

Schmid W, Aldridge D.

Twenty multiple sclerosis patients (14 female, 6 male) were involved in the study, their ages ranging rom 29 to 47 years. Ten participants formed the therapy group, and 10 the control group. The groups were comparable on the standard neurological classification scheme Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Exclusion criteria were pregnancy and mental disorders requiring medication. Measurements were taken before therapy began (T1), and subsequently every 3 months (T2-T4). This battery included indicators of clinical depression and anxiety (Beck Depression Inventory and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), a self-acceptance scale (SESA) and a life quality assessment (Hamburg Quality of Life Questionnaire in Multiple Sclerosis). In addition, data were collected on cognitive (MSFC) and functional (EDSS) parameters. Patients in the therapy group received 3 blocks of music therapy in single sessions over the course of the one year project (8 to 10 sessions respectively). The music therapy approach used for this study is based on the Nordoff Robbins approach (Nordoff & Robbins, 1977). There was no significant difference between the music therapy treatment group and the control group. However, the effect size statistics comparing both groups show a medium effect size on the scales measuring self esteem (d = 0.5423, r =.026), depression HAD-D (d = 0.63, r = 0.310) and anxiety HAD-A (d = 0.63, r = 0.310). Significant improvements were found for the therapy group over time (T1-T4) in the scale values of self esteem, depression, and anxiety. Given the stigmatizing effect of a chronic degenerative disease, the positive benefits of music therapy point to a realm of aesthetic considerations in assessing clinical improvement.



J Music Ther. 2008 Fall;45(3):307-29

The effectiveness of music as a mnemonic device on recognition memory for people with multiple sclerosis.

Moore KS, Peterson DA, O'Shea G, McIntosh GC, Thaut MH.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA


Research shows that people with multiple sclerosis exhibit learning and memory difficulties and that music can be used successfully as a mnemonic device to aid in learning and memory. However, there is currently no research investigating the effectiveness of music mnemonics as a compensatory learning strategy for people with multiple sclerosis. Participants with clinically definitive multiple sclerosis (N = 38) were given a verbal learning and memory test. Results from a recognition memory task were analyzed that compared learning through music (n = 20) versus learning through speech (n = 18). Preliminary baseline neuropsychological data were collected that measured executive functioning skills, learning and memory abilities, sustained attention, and level of disability. An independent samples t test showed no significant difference between groups on baseline neuropsychological functioning or on recognition task measures. Correlation analyses suggest that music mnemonics may facilitate learning for people who are less impaired by the disease. Implications for future research are discussed.



Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Apr;6(4):469-77.

Music therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis: a comprehensive literature review.

Ostermann T, Schmid W.
University of Witten/Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, D-58313 Herdecke, Germany


Coping with multiple sclerosis symptoms still remains a challenge for each patient suffering from this chronic inflammatory disease. Therefore, patients often turn to using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In this review, the authors aimed to investigate the current state of literature of music therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Medline, PubMed, Embase, AMED, CAMbase and the Music Therapy World Journal Index were searched for the terms MS and 'music therapy'. In addition, an internet search using Google Scholar was performed. The authors found seven case-reports/series and seven studies on music therapy for MS-patients. Both the case reports and studies presented here are pioneer work. Most of the studies are naturally predominated by the use of qualitative and uncontrolled research designs. Nevertheless, the results of the studies as well as the case reports demonstrate patients' improvement in the domains of self-acceptance, anxiety and depression. The results of the studies as well as the case reports define a sufficient basis for further music therapeutical work as they show a variety of psychosocial and emotional benefits for MS patients.



Complement Ther Med. 2005 Mar;13(1):25-33

Functionality or aesthetics? A pilot study of music therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients.

Aldridge D, Schmid W, Kaeder M, Schmidt C, Ostermann T.
University of Witten Herdecke, Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 50, D-58448, Germany


INTRODUCTION: Neuro-degenerative diseases are, and will remain, an enormous public health problem. Interventions that could delay disease onset even modestly will have a major public health impact. The aim of this study is to see which components of the illness are responsive to change when treated with music therapy in contrast to a group of patients receiving standard medical treatment alone. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty multiple sclerosis patients (14 female, 6 male) were involved in the study, their ages ranging from 29 to 47 years. Ten participants formed the therapy group, and 10 the matched control group matched by age, gender and the standard neurological classification scheme Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Exclusion criteria were pregnancy and mental disorders requiring medication. Patients in the therapy group received three blocks of music therapy in single sessions over the course of the one-year project (8-10 sessions, respectively). Measurements were taken before therapy began (U1), and subsequently every three months (U2-U4) and within a 6-month follow-up without music therapy (U5) after the last consultation. Test battery included indicators of clinical depression and anxiety (Beck Depression Inventory and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), a self-acceptance scale (SESA) and a life quality assessment (Hamburg Quality of Life Questionnaire in Multiple Sclerosis). In addition, data were collected on cognitive (MSFC) and functional (EDSS) parameters. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the music-therapy treatment group and the control group. However, the effect size statistics comparing both groups show a medium effect size on the scales measuring self-esteem (d, 0.5423), depression HAD-D (d, 0.63) and anxiety HAD-A (d, 0.63). Significant improvements were found for the therapy group over time (U1-U4) in the scale values of self-esteem, depression and anxiety. In the follow-up, scale values for fatigue, anxiety and self-esteem worsen within the group treated with music therapy. DISCUSSION: A therapeutic concept for multiple sclerosis, which includes music therapy, brings an improvement in mood, fatigue and self-acceptance. When music therapy is removed, then scale scores worsen and this appears to intimate that music therapy has an influence.



Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 1989 Sep-Oct;39(9-10):369-73

Group music therapy in multiple sclerosis: initial report of experience

Lengdobler H, Kiessling WR.

Group music therapy is a special kind of psychotherapeutic treatment. Within two years 225 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) had the opportunity to participate a music therapy group over 4-6 weeks after admission to a MS-clinic. The major topics which were chosen in group sessions were MS associated problems such as disability, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, loss of self esteem etc. The data suggests that group music therapy is a useful adjunct not only in actual psychological support but also in the individual coping strategies.