Effects of Relaxation Exercises and Music Therapy on the Psychological Symptoms and Depression Levels of Patients with Schizophrenia

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the effects of relaxation exercises and music therapy on the psychological symptoms and depression levels of patients with chronic schizophrenia.

Materials and methods

This semi-experimental study was conducted using pre- and post-tests with a control group. The study population consists of patients with schizophrenia who regularly attended community mental health centers in the Malatya and Elazığ provinces of Turkey between May 2015 and September 2015. The study's sample consists of 70 patients with schizophrenia (n = 35 in the control group; n = 35 in the experimental group) who were selected randomly based on power analysis. The “Patient Information Form,” the “Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)” and the “Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS)” were used for data collection. Patients in the experimental group participated in relaxation exercises and music therapy 5 times a week for 4 weeks. The experimental group of 35 persons was divided into three groups of approximately 10–12 individuals in order to enable all participants to attend the program. No intervention was applied to the patients in the control group. The data were evaluated using percentage distribution, arithmetic means, standard deviations, Chi-square and independent samples t-tests.

Results

The study found that patients in the experimental group showed a decrease in total mean scores on the BPRS and CDSS; the difference between the post-test scores of the experimental group and the post-test scores of the control group was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The practice of relaxation exercises and music therapy was proven to be effective in reducing schizophrenic patients' psychological symptoms and levels of depression.

Conclusion

Relaxation exercises and music therapy can be used as a complementary therapy in the medical treatment of patients with chronic schizophrenia.

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