OBJECTIVE. This pilot study is the first to examine the effects of an occupational therapist–led African drumming group on mental well-being among adult psychiatric inpatients with mood disorders.

METHOD. We used a quasi-experimental, uncontrolled, one-group, pretest–posttest design. We collected data for six different drumming groups (N = 13) using the Stellenbosch Mood Scale, the Primary Health Questionnaire–9, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7 scale, and the Enjoyment of Interaction Scale.

RESULTS. Participants significantly improved on all six domains of the Stellenbosch Mood Scale, with a large clinical effect. Participants with higher self-reported anxiety and depression benefited the most. According to the Enjoyment of Interaction Scale results, all the participants enjoyed the drumming “a great deal.”

CONCLUSION. Our positive findings suggest that drumming may be an effective intervention for adults with acute mood disorders. We recommend further research that uses a control intervention.

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