de Witte, Martina

Meta-analysis in arts therapy research: from overall effects to the arts

Meta-analyse in vaktherapeutisch onderzoek: van overall effecten naar de kunst.

Martina de Witte

In The Netherlands there is a strong demand for evidence-based interventions in mental health care. Scientific evidence on the effects of psychological interventions leads to inclusion in multidisciplinary guidelines and care programs. Therefore, it is essential to show the general effects of the arts therapeutic interventions by conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This often leads to the question of how these robust research results may relate to the individual perception and meaning of the arts. In this workshop we will try to connect these both ‘worlds’, from the common interest to gain more knowledge about the effects of the art in therapy.

Setting up a meta-analysis study can be an interesting solution to summarize the results of multiple individual studies. Meta-analysis integrates the findings of studies in an accurately defined research area, for example on the effects of music interventions on stress-related outcomes. New knowledge can be created through the combination of research results from the different studies and provides answers to questions that cannot be satisfactorily answered in the individual studies. Results of a multilevel meta-analysis also provide insight into the specific effect moderating factors of the intervention, for example the type of the specific intervention, used materials, the number of sessions or the duration of the session. 

The aim of this workshop is to show that meta-analyses not only provide overall effect sizes, but also gain more insight into the effect moderating factors of the arts therapeutic interventions.
This workshop will focus on:-

the approach and concepts of multilevel meta-analysis for the arts therapies, on the basis of examples of meta-analyses that are currently being carried out;

the explanation (and try-out) of a structured roadmap for conducting a meta-analysis;

sharing ideas for setting up a meta-analysis related to the daily practice of arts therapists.



Martina de Witte is lecturer/researcher in music therapy and coordinator of research at the Institution of Arts Therapies at HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She is a senior certified music therapist at STEVIG; a mental health institution for psychiatric treatment for people with mild intellectual disabilities (MID). In partnership with the University of Amsterdam and the research group KenVak, she is running a PhD program focused on the effects of music (therapy) interventions on stress-related outcomes. During her project she specialized in multilevel meta-analysis and a part of her work offers a comprehensive overview of the effects of music interventions on both psychological and physiological stress-related outcomes.


Recent Publications & Presentations

de Witte, M., Spruit, A., van Hooren, S., Moonen, X., & Stams, G. J. (2019). Effects of Music Interventions on Stress-Related Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Two Meta-Analyses. Health psychology review, 2019, 1-62.

De Witte, M.J. (2018). The effects of music interventions on stress. 5th International Conference of the International Association for Music and Medicine IAMM. Barcelona, Spain.

De Witte, M.J (2018). The effects of music interventions on stress reduction: results of two meta-analyses. International Conference of Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management. Frankfurt, Germany.

De Witte, M.J. (2018). Introduction in meta-analysis and systematic reviews in music therapy research. Summerschool 2018 Clinical Research Methods in Music Sciences and Interventions. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Witte, M.J. de. (2014). Music as a Punchbag: an Exploratory Study into the Effects of Music Therapy on the Emotion Regulation of Forensic Patiënts with a Mild Intellectual Disability. In: Fachner, J., Kern, P. & Tucek, G. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 14. World Congress of Music Therapy. Special issue of Music Therapy Today 10(1), 78–79.