Clinical music study quality assessment scale (Musiquas) 1st edition


  • Artur Jaschke Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 BT AmsterdamThe Netherlands Department of Music Therapy, ArtEZ University of Applied Sciences, 7511 PN Enschede, The Netherlands
  • Laura HP Eggermont
  • Sylka Uhlig
  • Erik Scherder



Publications in scientific journals have extensively used assessment scales to address methodological quality.  So far there is no scale which assesses the quality of studies in the vast amount of music related sciences.

The clinical music study quality assessment scale (Musiquas) addresses this issue providing a 10-point rating scale. Studies are assessed on four general categories: Selection, Control criteria, Exposure and Outcome.

Musiquas is based on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of studies in meta-analyses and attuned by the authors to fit the demand of quality assessment in the wide array of clinical music studies.

A three round Delphi procedure as well as open online commentaries contributed to the creation of the assessment scale presented here.

Conclusively, this scale will contribute to higher quality methodologies in systematic reviews and meta analyses in music sciences and intervention research.


Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J. P. T. & Rothstein, H. R. (2009), Introduction to Meta-Analysis, Wiley and sons publications: Chichester, pp 35 - 46

Burns, D. L., (2012), Theoretical rationale for music selection in oncology intervention research: an integrative review, Journal of Music Therapy, 49(1), pp 7-22

Chalmers, I., (2007), The lethal consequences of failing to make use of all relevant evidence about the effects of medical treatments: the need for systematic reviews. In P. Rothwell (ed.), Treating Individuals. Ed. London: Lancet: pp 37 – 58

Chanda, M.L. and Levitin, D. J., (2013), Feature Review; The Neurochemistry of Music, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(4), pp179 – 193

Cochrane Collaboration (2013), Cochrane Library and tools, retrieved from the world wide web on 27th September 2017:

Cochrane Collaboration (2018), Cochrane Library and tools, retrieved from the world wide web on 27th January 2018:

Deeks, J.J., Dinnes, J., D’Amico, R., Sowden, A.J., Sakarovitch, C., Song, F., et al. (2003), Evaluating non-randomised intervention studies, Health Technological Assessment, 7(27), iii-x, pp 1-173

Geretsegger, M., Elefant, C., Mössler, K. A. & Gold, C., (2014), Music therapy for people with autism spectrum disorders, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 26(2), pp 338–354

Hetland, L. and Winner, E. (2004), Cognitive transfer from arts education, in E. Eisner and M Day (eds.), Handbook on research and policy in art education, National Art Education Association, pre publication draft, pp 1 - 64

Higgins, J.P.T. and Green, S. eds. (2013), Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews for interventions, version 5.1.2 [updated March 2017], The Cochrane Collaboration, 2017, Available online from

Ioannidis, J.P.A. and Lau, J. (1998), Can quality of clinical trials and meta analyses be quantified? The Lancet, 352, p 590

Jaschke, A.C. and Eggermont, L.H.C. (2012), Music study and intervention quality assessment scale (Musiquas), published online 1st March 2012, removed for peer review

Jaschke, A.C., Eggermont, L.H.P., Honing, H.J. & Scherder E.J.A., (2013), Music intervention and its effect on intellectual abilities in children: a systematic review, Reviews in the Neurosciences, 23, pp 665 - 675

Kamioka, H., Tsutani, K., Yamada, M., Park, H., Okuizumi, H., &Tsuruoka, K. (2014). Effectiveness of music therapy: a summary of systematic reviews based on randomized controlled trials of music interventions. Patient Prefer Adherence. 8: p 727

Kraus and White-Schwoch (2017), Neurobiology of Everyday Communication: what we have learned from Music, The Neuroscientist, Vol. 23(3), pp 287–298

Kühlmann, A. Y. R., Etnel, J. R. G., Roos-Hesselink, J. W., Jeekel, J., Bogers, A. J. J. C., & Takkenberg, J. J. M. (2016). Systematic review and meta-analysis of music interventions in hypertension treatment: a quest for answers. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 16, (69), pp 137 - 152

Leubner, D & Hinterberger, T. (2017), Reviewing the Effectiveness of Music Interventions in Treating Depression, Frontiers in Psychology, Published online 07 July 2017

Linstone, H.A. & Turoff, M., (1975), The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications, New Jersey Institute of Technology, pp 231 - 256

Linstone, H.A. & Turoff, M., (2002), The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications Revisited, New Jersey Institute of Technology, pp 144 - 161

Maurizio Bolognini (2001), Democrazia elettronica. Metodo Delphi e politiche pubbliche (Electronic Democracy. Delphi Method and Public Policy-Making) (in Italian), Rome: Carocci Editore, pp 26 - 81

Platz, F and Kopiez, R. (2012), When the eye listens: A Meta-Analysis of how audio-visual presentation enhances the appreciation of Music performance, Music Perception, 30(1), pp 71 - 83

Robb, S. L., Burns, D. S. & Carpenter, J. S. (2011), Reporting Guidelines for Music-based interventions, Journal of Health Psychology, 16(2), Author Manuscript pp 1 - 14

Sala, G., & Gobet, F., (2017), When the music’s over. Does music skill transfer to children’s and young adolescents’ cognitive and academic skills? A meta-analysis, Educational Research Review, 20, pp 55-67

Sanderson, S., Tatt, I.D. and Higgins, J.P.T. (2007), Tools for assessing quality and susceptibility to bias in observational studies in epidemiology: a systematic review and annotated bibliography, International Journal of Epidemiology, 36, pp 666-676

Sihvonen, A. J., Särkämö, T., Leo, V., Tervaniemi, M., Altenmüller, E. & Soinila, S., (2017), Music-based interventions in neurological rehabilitation, The Lancet Neurology, 17: pp 1-13

Standley, J. M. (2008), Does Music Instruction Help Children learn to read? Evidence of a meta-analysis, Applications of research in music education, 27(1), pp 17-32

Stang, A. (2010), Critical Evaluation of the Newcastle-Ottawa scale for the assessment of the quality of nonrandomized studies in meta-analyses, European Journal of Epidemiology, 25, pp 603-605

Streiner, D.L. and Norman, G.R. (2008), Health Measurement scales: A practical guide to their development and use, 4th Edition, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp 41 - 89

Thompson, S. G. and Pocock, S.J. (1991), Can meta analyses be trusted?, The Lancet, 338, pp 1127-1130

Uhlig, S, Jaschke, A.C. and Scherder E.J.A (2013.), Effects of music on emotion regulation: a systematic review, Conference proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion, Jyväskylä, Finland, pp 5 – 19

Vaughn, K. (2000), Music and Mathematics: Modest support for the Oft-claimed relationship, Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4), pp149-166

Wells, G.A., Shea, B., O'Connell, D., Peterson, J., Welch, V., Losos, M. and Tugwel, P. (2009), Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of nonrandomised studies in meta-analyses, published online:

Zeng, X., Zhang, Y., Kwong, S.W.J., Zhang, C., Li, C., Sun, F., Niu, Y. & Du, L. (2014), The methodological quality assessment tools for preclinical and clinical studies, sytematic reviews and meta-analysis, and clinical practice guideline: a systematic review, Journal of Evidence- based medicine, 8: pp 2 - 10






Full Length Articles