New Research: Think Tank Findings on The State of Music-Based Interventions for Mental Illness

How can music support mental health? While hundreds of studies have been conducted to answer this question, the availability and application of music interventions for mental health remain limited. Part of the challenge is the multidisciplinary nature of this research and difficulties in synthesizing findings across different fields including psychology, neurology, psychiatry, music, and public health.

To help bridge these gaps, IAM Lab and One Mind convened a think tank of thought leaders and experts across nine different disciplines to figure out exactly what we know and don’t know—and how to collectively move the field forward.

We are pleased to announce our latest peer-reviewed publication in the Community Mental Health Journal, which documents our findings from focus group discussions amongst the think tank participants. The thematic analysis revealed insights into current barriers to research, differences between disciplines, the need for training, and how to implement music in health practices.

The State of Music-Based Interventions for Mental Illness: Thought Leaders on Barriers, Opportunities, and the Value of Interdisciplinarity

This first-of-its-kind study builds upon our recently published global scoping review of music interventions used in the context of serious mental illness. Together, our research illuminates the scope of challenges and opportunities we face as an interdisciplinary field.

“This study really shows the value of diverse knowledges and experiences, and the importance of being intentional about integrating them,” said Tasha Golden, Ph.D., IAM Lab Senior Arts in Health Research Scientist and lead author of the study.

“As we coded the data, we saw what an asset these differences were—but we could also see the need for specific guidance to draw those differences out to create shared solutions. This guidance shows up in our four recommendations; we hope they help researchers and practitioners embrace the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary work.”

Read the full study here.

IAM Lab Mental Health Music Research