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Abstract: [Active music therapy for chronic pain: a prospective study]

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www.ProHealth.com • June 12, 2003


Schmerz. 1997 Apr 18;11(2):91-100. [Article in German]  Muller-Busch HC, Hoffmann P.  Abteilung fur Anasthesie und Schmerztherapie, Berlin.

There are only few publications about the effect of music therapy on pain relief. The intention of this prospective study is to demonstrate the influence of the Nordoff/Robbins method of active music therapy in a group of 12 patients with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndromes and polyarthritis on pain reduction, life quality and coping. The clinical parameters of each patient were related to the observations in the audio- and video-documented music therapy settings and to the self-reported changes in pain intensity and pain behaviour.

There was a significant reduction of pain intensity and pain-related disability in the music group compared to a control group, but no change in the depression and anxiety score. The influence of music therapy could be even better demonstrated in the systematic analysis of the single cases by individual profiles.

Active music therapy affects especially the communicative and emotional dimension of chronic pain. Psychophysiological and psychodynamic models are presented to explain the effectiveness of music therapy on pain reduction. Clinical studies on music therapy as well as on other "art therapies" should relate the analysis of clinical parameters to the descriptive-phenomenological documentation of the therapeutic process to demonstrate systematically the influence of music and art in the individual case.

PMID: 12799825 [PubMed]




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