Interventions for music performance anxiety: results from a systematic literature review


Arch. Clin. Psychiatry (São Paulo)




Abstract Background Music performance anxiety (MPA) is characterised by fears related to performing music. It may result in damages to personal life and professional career, so treatment and prevention are very important. Objective To undertake a systematic literature review on the effectiveness/efficacy of MPA interventions and to integrate these findings to those in the literature reviewed previously. Methods We used PubMed, PsycINFO and SciELO databases and keywords music*, performance anxiety, treatment, therapy and intervention and manual research. We selected articles published between October-2002/July-2016. Results Out of 97 articles, 23 were reviewed. Sixteen studies presented inter-group experimental design, and seven presented pre-post experimental design. The intervention modalities reviewed were cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), virtual reality exposure, biofeedback, yoga, meditation, music therapy and the Alexander technique. Although the interventions presented some indicators of efficacy in the MPA outcomes and improvement in performance quality, important methodological limitations were observed: low number of individuals and non-specific criteria for their inclusion/exclusion. This reinforces previous findings regarding methodological fragilities associated with this context. Discussion CBT is the most frequently studied modality and with the greatest number of effectiveness indicators. The remaining modalities indicate tendencies in positive outcomes that require further and efficient investigation in more rigorous studies with greater methodological control.

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