Effect of Adjuvant Music Therapy on Anxiety, Depressive Symptoms, and Cognitive Functions of Patients Receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Preliminary Study
Jarvis K Varghese, Sumathy Sundar, Sukanto Sarkar
Anxiety, Cognitive function, Depression, Electroconvulsive therapy, Music therapy
Citation Information :
Varghese JK, Sundar S, Sarkar S. Effect of Adjuvant Music Therapy on Anxiety, Depressive Symptoms, and Cognitive Functions of Patients Receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Preliminary Study. 2019; 2 (4):142-145.
Background and objectives: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most commonly used treatments for severe psychiatric disorders. Prior and during the ECT treatment, patients may experience varied degrees of anxiety, depressive symptoms, and cognitive impairments. Music therapy (MT) as an adjuvant psychiatric intervention has been successfully employed in many fields of medicine and psychiatry but unexplored in ECT indicative patient group. This study evaluated the effect of MT on anxiety, depression, and cognitive functions of patients receiving ECT. Materials and methods: A sample of 29 patients who received ECT as per diagnostic and treatment needs were randomized into cases (n = 14; receiving adjuvant MT) and controls (n = 15; no MT intervention) after subjecting to set criteria. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were recorded a day before and 15 days after scheduled four sessions of ECTs were over. Music therapy intervention in the form of Ahir Bhairav raga improvisation, imagery of journey of good health, recovery, and relaxation was administered for cases. Paired t tests and independent t tests were used for intragroup and intergroup comparisons, respectively. Results: Music therapy intervention resulted in within-the-group significant reduction in anxiety, depression, and improvement in cognitive functioning scores (p ≤ 0.05). Music therapy group also recorded a significant reduction in total HADS composite scores during the period of intervention. A intergroup comparison between the MT and the control groups resulted in a significant improvement in anxiety and total HADS scores. Conclusion: The study results support that MT intervention can be used in clinical settings as an adjunct with ECT, to control anxiety, depression, and cognitive functions in mentally ill patients. More studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm these findings.
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