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Strong JV, Plys E, Hinrichs KLM, Hartmann CW, McCullough M. Music for your mental health? The development and evaluation of a group mental health intervention in subacute rehabilitation. Aging & mental health. 2022 May 1; 26(5):950-957.
Short-stay residents of nursing homes experience high rates of mental health (MH) distress compared to community dwelling counterparts, yet MH interventions are difficult to implement and sustain. We modified a music therapy framework to Effective Music in Psychotherapy. Using the modified model, we integrated music listening into MH group intervention and evaluated MH outcomes. This pilot study reports the development and evaluation of the Mental Health and Music Group for short-stay nursing homes residents. The group was developed and refined to be non-sequential and non-cumulative, specific to the needs of short-stay nursing home residents. Pre-/post-session ratings examined affect, quality of life, and pain. Leaders monitored engagement across and between sessions. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a selection of attendees. Findings indicated decreases in irritation and worry, and increases in mood, energy, and self-as-a-whole from pre- to post-session. There were no changes in pain, perception of physical health or life-as-a-whole, energetic, sad, or happy affect, or differences in engagement. Qualitative interviews demonstrated benefits of group modality and music to group cohesion and highlighted the relevance of music for mental health outcomes. The Mental Health and Music group was designed around a framework of Effective Music in Psychotherapy, for short-stay nursing home settings, and demonstrated promising results. Future research can solidify the interventions generalizeability to medical and rehabilitation settings addressing the specific population needs and preferences.Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2021.1935463 .