According to a new study recently conducted by researchers at the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust and Queen’s University Belfast and published in Alpha Galileo, music therapy may offer relief to children and adolescents suffering from childhood depression. Some experts believe that in light of numerous reports of significantly dangerous side effects sometimes associated with psychiatric drug treatment, natural therapies have become increasingly welcome by those afflicted with depression.
The study, funded by the Big Lottery fund, occurred between March 2011 and May 2014. The researchers observed and analyzed 251 subjects with emotional or behavioral problems.
The data demonstrated that music therapy decreases depression in both adolescents and children. The research team noted that music therapy specifically aids in decreasing depression in both children and adolescents who have emotional and behavioral problems.
The investigative team reported that “(c)hildren who received music therapy had significantly improved self-esteem and significantly reduced depression compared with those who received treatment without music therapy.” They also discovered that the subjects who had been treated with music therapy had improved interactive and communicative abilities when compared to those participants who only received standard care options.
Earlier research has previously posed that the benefits garnered from music therapy do not diminish in the long run. Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust, Ciara Reilly, stated this therapy has often been used with children and adolescents who have specific mental health needs.
Experts note that this is actually the very first time that “the effectiveness of music therapy” has been proven through the use of an actual “definitive randomized controlled trial” conducted in a clinical environment. Considering the important nature of the study’s findings, researchers believe that music therapy should henceforth be considered a mainstream option for treatment.
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