A systematic review on the effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults.

Authors: Chan, Moon Fai (PhD, CStat); Wong, Zi Yang (BSc, RN); Thayala, N. V. (MSc, BHSc, RN)
Published In: JBI Library of Systematic Reviews: Volume 8 – Issue 31 – p 1242-1287 (2010)


“The objective of this review was to determine the effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults… From the overall results, the evidence offers some support that music listening over a period of time helps to reduce depressive symptoms in the adult population.”

Implications for Practice:

“Music listening for the purpose of reducing depressive symptoms is not recommended over a short period of time or for a single episode of care.
Even though daily intervention does not seem to be superior over weekly intervention, it is recommended that music listening session be conducted repeatedly over a time span of more than 3 weeks to allow an accumulative effect to occur.
It is recommended that the listeners are given choices over the kind of music which they listen to.
All types of music can be used as listening material, depending on the preferences of the listener.”

Implications for Future Research:

More studies should be conducted to “replicate the designs used in existing studies that met the inclusion criteria on the level of efficacy of music listening on the reduction of depressive symptoms for a more accurate meta-analysis of the findings and reflect with greater accuracy the significant effects that music has on the level of depressive symptoms.”

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