Music Making Interventions with Adults in the Forensic Setting – A Systematic Review of the Literature – Part I: Group Interventions


  • Biljana Vrancic Coutinho
  • Anita Lill Hansen
  • Leif Waage
  • Thomas K. Hillecke
  • Julian Koenig



The purpose of this systematic review of international research is to summarize the available literature on active music making interventions with adult offenders in forensic settings (i.e. forensic psychiatry or correctional facilities at different security levels). A systematic search of 13 electronic databases according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analysis (PRISMA) statement was employed. 28 articles fitting the inclusion criteria were included in the review. The search revealed mainly qualitative and narrative reports including articles on group music therapy, educational music making, choir interventions, individual music therapy sessions and musical projects. The musical interventions are described in detail to provide therapists with ideas on how to set up session with clients in this particular situation and to help understand the possible impact of musical interventions in the forensic setting. Furthermore, implications from the current evidence and ideas for future research are discussed. Note: Due to the length of the review it is published in two subsequent issues. This is the first part of the review focusing on group interventions. The second part of the review is published in the subsequent issue of Music and Medicine focusing on case studies and established music programs in the forensic setting.






Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analysis