The effect of music therapy on hemodialysis patients' quality of life and depression symptoms

ABSTRACT Introduction: The sources of stress involved in chronic kidney disease (CKD) can lead to depressive states, directly affecting the hemodialysis patient's quality of life (QOL). There are few reports and studies on therapeutic interventions that aim to minimize depressive symptoms in these patients and an even greater shortage of studies using music therapy. Objective: This study evaluated the effect of music therapy on QOL and depressive symptoms in hemodialysis patients. Method: This was a music therapy intervention study in which 23 patients were evaluated regarding QOL and depression symptoms at two distinct stages - before and after the intervention. Eight sessions of music therapy were conducted, with two weekly sessions and an average duration of 75 minutes. The intervention was conducted by the music therapist herself, using specific music therapy techniques, besides voice and guitar to conduct harmonic and rhythmic support for the groups' sound-music production. Results: The patients showed a significant reduction in depression symptoms (p < 0.001) and better QOL results, with significant differences in the following dimensions: functional capacity (p = 0.011), pain (p = 0.036), general health (p = 0.01), vitality (p = 0.004), mental health (p = 0.012), symptom and problem list (p = 0.01), and overall health (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Intervention with music therapy constitutes an effective option in the treatment and prevention of depressive symptoms and improved QOL of HD patients.