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Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
The Meaning of Participating in a Group Music Intervention in Early Psychosis
Author Affiliations
  • Providence Care
  • Hotel Dieu Hospital
  • Addiction and Mental Health Services
  • Queen's University
Article Information
Mental Health / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
The Meaning of Participating in a Group Music Intervention in Early Psychosis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505123. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO2070
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011505123. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO2070
Abstract

Date Presented 4/7/2016

During phenomenology-informed interviews with 5 young adults enrolled in an early psychosis intervention (EPI) program in Canada, participants discussed the meaning of participating in a music group offered by the EPI program and the positive benefits that contributed to their recovery.

Primary Author and Speaker: Carrie Anne Marshall

Additional Authors and Speakers: Lyn Heinemann, Chris Trimmer, Adam Broad

RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the meaning of participating in a popular music group for young adults enrolled in an early psychosis intervention (EPI) program?
RATIONALE: Although a number of studies have focused on neural correlates of music engagement and symptom reduction for persons with a variety of mental illnesses, few studies have focused on the meaning of participating in a music group for persons in community mental health settings. Although attending to symptom reduction is an important perspective, attending to the ways in which persons with mental illness attribute meaning to the experience of music, and the ways in which it may influence their recovery, is also important. The prevalence of negative symptoms resulting in poor motivation and social withdrawal is often a barrier to recovery in persons experiencing early psychosis.
Those experiencing early psychosis also struggle with maintaining social networks because of social withdrawal and stigma. Music as a group intervention has the ability to both engage young people in occupation and provide a venue for the development of social networks. Two 8- to 12-session music groups were offered by an EPI program in eastern Ontario, Canada, to their clients. Sessions were facilitated by musicians hired by the program. The focus of these groups was occupational engagement.
DESIGN: Interpretive phenomenology was used to explore the meaning of participating in the music group for participants and the ways in which this participation may have influenced their recovery.
PARTICIPANTS: Five participants who had participated in the music group were purposively recruited after the last session offered by the EPI program that had hosted the group. All participants were enrolled in the EPI program at the time of data collection and during their participation in the group. All participants were receiving treatment for psychosis during the course of the study. Participants’ age ranged from 22 to 26 yr.
METHOD: Participants were engaged in semistructured interviews ranging from 20 to 45 min. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim.
ANALYSIS: Data were organized using NVivo Version 10 and analyzed using the seven-step process described by Colaizzi.
RESULTS: Participants identified that the experience of psychosis decreased the extent to which they engaged in a variety of occupations both within and outside of their homes. Participating in a music group allowed participants to make a first step toward engaging in occupation outside of their home and provided them with access to a group of like-minded same-age peers. Participants discussed their participation in this group as a springboard for engaging in other occupations outside of the home.
DISCUSSION: This study represents the only known study focusing on the meaning of participating in a music group for persons experiencing early psychosis in a community setting. The results offer insight into the ways in which participating in a music group may address negative symptoms through engagement in a motivating and meaningful activity. The ability of music to help persons experiencing early psychosis reengage in occupation and connect with social networks is worthy of further attention from both a clinical and a research context. These are important recovery-oriented goals for young people who have experienced a life disruption brought on by a mental health disability.
IMPACT STATEMENT: Engagement in a group music intervention is a powerful experience for young people with early psychosis and can address negative symptoms while promoting the return to previously meaningful occupations. Engaging young people in music occupations in a group setting can help occupational therapists address the functional challenges faced by this population.