LATEST RESEARCH

Creative Musical Expression as a Catalyst for Quality ofLlife Improvement in Inner-city Adolescents Placed in
a Court-referred Residential Treatment Program

Barry Bittman, MD; Larry Dickson, MA; Kim Coddington, PhD

published in
Advances in Mind-Body Medicine
Spring 2009, VOL. 24, NO. 1

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BETHESDA CHILDREN'S HOME

ABSTRACT

Background: Obstacles to effectively rehabilitate inner-city adolescents in staff-secure residential treatment centers should not be underestimated. Effective evidence-based protocols are lacking to help juveniles who are often angry, detached, frustrated, and in direct conflict with their peers. Facing a myriad of issues ranging from youth delinquency offenses to trauma, abuse, drug/alcohol use, peer pressure/gang-related activities, lack of structure in home environments, mental health diagnoses, and cognitive functioning difficulties, these adolescents present extraordinary challenges to an over-stressed juvenile justice system.

Material/methods: A randomized controlled crossover study is utilized to comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of a novel creative musical expression protocol as a catalyst for nonverbal and verbal disclosure leading to improvements in quality of life for inner-city youth in a court-referred residential treatment program. A total of 52 (30 females and 22 males) African-American, Asian, Caucasian, and Puerto Rican subjects ranging in age from 12 to 18 (mean age 14.5) completed the study.

Results: Dependent variable measures included the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS), the Adolescent Psychopathology Scale (APS), the Adolescent Anger Rating Scale (AARS), the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, 2nd edition (RADS 2), and the Adolescent Visual-Analog Recreational Music Making Assessment (A-VARMMA). Statistically significant (experimental vs control) improvements in multiple parameters include school/work role performance, total depression, anhedonia/negative affect, negative self-evaluation, and instrumental anger. In addition, extended impact (experimental vs control) is characterized by statistically significant improvements 6 weeks after completion of the protocol, for school/work role performance, behavior toward others, anhedonia/negative affect, total anger, instrumental anger, anger, and interpersonal problems.

Limitations: The primary limitations of this study include an extended follow-up period of only 6 weeks post completion of the protocol, and the inability to blind the counselors performing standardized assessments.

Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to test a replicable creative musical expression protocol as a catalyst for nonverbal and verbal disclosure leading to improved quality of life for inner-city youth in a court-referred residential treatment program. With substantial potential for widespread dissemination, this innovative protocol for adolescents can be readily utilized by behavioral health professionals without prior musical experience.

 

Recreational Music-Making Modulates
the Human Stress Response:
a preliminary individualized gene expression strategy

Barry Bittman, MD
Lee Berk, DrPH
Mark Shannon, PhD
Muhammad Sharaf, PhD
Jim Westengard, BS
Karl J. Guegler, PhD
David W. Ruff, PhD

published in
Medical Science Monitor
February 2005

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RESEARCH OVERVIEW

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DR. BITTMAN'S BIO

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Testing the power of music-making:
The Clavinova Connection
HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming

Barry B. Bittman, MD,
Karl T. Bruhn,
Phillip B. Lim, MT-BC,
Angela Neve, MT-BC,
Christine K. Stevens, MSW, MT-BC,
Craig Knudsen, MBA

published in
Provider
November 2004
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Recreational Music-making:
an integrative group intervention for reducing burnout
and improving mood states
in first year associate degree nursing students
insights and economic impact

Barry B. Bittman, MD
Cherie Snyder, MSS, MA
Karl T. Bruhn
Fran Liebfreid, BSN, M.ED, RN
Christine K. Stevens, MSW, MT-BC
James Westengard, BS
Paul O. Umbach, MA

published in
International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship
July 2004
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Press Release
About Recreational Music-making
Dr. Bittman's Bio
Dr. Bittman's Photo
Cherie Snyder Bio
Cherie Snyder's Photo
Karl T. Bruhn Bio
Karl T. Bruhn's Photo

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CNN HEADLINE NEWS INTERVIEW
MARCH 9, 2004
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TO VIEW A VIDEO OF THE RESEARCH AT
WESBURY UNITED METHODIST RETIREMENT COMMUNITY,
CLICK HERE

Recreational Music-making:
a cost-effective group interdisciplinary strategy
for reducing burnout and improving mood states
in long-term care workers
insights and potential economic impact


Barry B. Bittman, MD,
Karl T. Bruhn,
Christine K. Stevens, MSW, MT-BC,
James Westengard, BS
and Paul O. Umbach, M.A.

published in
Advances in Mind-Body Medicine
November 200
3

RESEARCH INTERVIEW
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Press Release
About Recreational Music-making
Dr. Bittman's Bio
Dr. Bittman's Photo
Karl T. Bruhn Bio
Karl T. Bruhn's Photo
Christine K. Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC Bio
Christine K. Stevens' Photo
Link to Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community

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GROUP DRUMMING
IMMUNE RESEARCH STUDY - 2001
learn more about the research
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