Occupational therapy and the use of music tempo in the treatment of the mental health care user with psychosis

Monique Strauss, Susanna Maria Van Heerden, Gina Joubert


The mental health care user (MHCU) with psychosis has restrictions in occupational performance components and occupational performance areas, causing impaired activity participation, compromising the achievement of Occupational Therapy (OT) goals with this population.  The effect of slow versus fast tempo music during OT treatment of the MHCU with psychosis was investigated by means of a quantitative, experimental study. One hundred and sixty MHCUs with either inhibited or agitated symptoms of psychosis were included. The activity participation of the MHCUs, in terms of attention, following of instructions, directedness towards activity and willingness to participate were evaluated by three assessors through a pre- and post-test. The study indicated that music tempo, together with activity, has the ability to improve attention, following of instructions and directedness towards activity in the inhibited MHCU and attention and following of instructions in the agitated MHCU.  Occupational therapy with music elements might be useful when working with the MHCU with psychosis.


Mental Health care user (MHCU), Psychosis, Occupational Therapy, music tempo, occupational performance component (OPC), occupational performance area (OPA)

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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