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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Music therapy for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (94th percentile)


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Music therapy for people with schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like disorders
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004025.pub4
Pubmed ID

Monika Geretsegger, Karin A Mössler, Łucja Bieleninik, Xi-Jing Chen, Tor Olav Heldal, Christian Gold


Music therapy is a therapeutic approach that uses musical interaction as a means of communication and expression. Within the area of serious mental disorders, the aim of the therapy is to help people improve their emotional and relational competencies, and address issues they may not be able to using words alone. To review the effects of music therapy, or music therapy added to standard care, compared with placebo therapy, standard care or no treatment for people with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia. We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group's Trials Study-Based Register (December 2010 and 15 January, 2015) and supplemented this by contacting relevant study authors, handsearching of music therapy journals and manual searches of reference lists. All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared music therapy with standard care, placebo therapy, or no treatment. Review authors independently selected, quality assessed and data extracted studies. We excluded data where more than 30% of participants in any group were lost to follow-up. We synthesised non-skewed continuous endpoint data from valid scales using a standardised mean difference (SMD). We employed a fixed-effect model for all analyses. If statistical heterogeneity was found, we examined treatment dosage (i.e. number of therapy sessions) and treatment approach as possible sources of heterogeneity. Ten new studies have been added to this update; 18 studies with a total 1215 participants are now included. These examined effects of music therapy over the short, medium, and long-term, with treatment dosage varying from seven to 240 sessions. Overall, most information is from studies at low or unclear risk of biasA positive effect on global state was found for music therapy compared to standard care (medium term, 2 RCTs, n = 133, RR 0.38 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24 to 0.59, low-quality evidence, number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome NNTB 2, 95% CI 2 to 4). No binary data were available for other outcomes. Medium-term continuous data identified good effects for music therapy on negative symptoms using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (3 RCTs, n = 177, SMD - 0.55 95% CI -0.87 to -0.24, low-quality evidence). General mental state endpoint scores on the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale were better for music therapy (2 RCTs, n = 159, SMD -0.97 95% CI -1.31 to -0.63, low-quality evidence), as were average endpoint scores on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (1 RCT, n = 70, SMD -1.25 95% CI -1.77 to -0.73, moderate-quality evidence). Medium-term average endpoint scores using the Global Assessment of Functioning showed no effect for music therapy on general functioning (2 RCTs, n = 118, SMD -0.19 CI -0.56 to 0.18, moderate-quality evidence). However, positive effects for music therapy were found for both social functioning (Social Disability Screening Schedule scores; 2 RCTs, n = 160, SMD -0.72 95% CI -1.04 to -0.40), and quality of life (General Well-Being Schedule scores: 1 RCT, n = 72, SMD 1.82 95% CI 1.27 to 2.38, moderate-quality evidence). There were no data available for adverse effects, service use, engagement with services, or cost. Moderate- to low-quality evidence suggests that music therapy as an addition to standard care improves the global state, mental state (including negative and general symptoms), social functioning, and quality of life of people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like disorders. However, effects were inconsistent across studies and depended on the number of music therapy sessions as well as the quality of the music therapy provided. Further research should especially address the long-term effects of music therapy, dose-response relationships, as well as the relevance of outcome measures in relation to music therapy.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 183 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 698 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 2 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 695 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 104 15%
Student > Master 88 13%
Researcher 62 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 57 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 39 6%
Other 133 19%
Unknown 215 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 127 18%
Medicine and Dentistry 98 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 79 11%
Arts and Humanities 31 4%
Neuroscience 24 3%
Other 102 15%
Unknown 237 34%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 182. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 November 2023.
All research outputs
of 25,389,116 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,736 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 317,496 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 250 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,389,116 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,736 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 36.5. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 317,496 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 250 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.