OCD symptoms have a significant impact on patients and the life of their families. Compared to some other psychiatric illnesses (e.g., panic disorder and social phobias), individuals with OCD have lower mean QoL scores . Additionally, suicidal thoughts and behaviours are frequent in people with OCD . Apart from the devastating impact of OCD on one’s life, more than half of their families/carers report performing rituals together with the patient , leading to the development of depression and low QoL in family members and carers .
3. Treatments for OCD and Music Therapy
The current treatments for OCD may not always result in a cure, but can be helpful in bringing symptoms under control, alleviating its burden on everyday life and delaying the aggravation of the condition. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines 
, specialist services should directly engage and provide treatments for OCD. Additionally, the information of the disorder, its course, and treatments should be well communicated with the patient’s families and carers (34). Psychological and pharmacological approaches are the two main types of treatment for OCD. Medication with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been preferred to treat OCD, with sertraline most commonly used 
. Evidence-based psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention and cognitive therapy elements, have been reported to be effective for many individuals with OCD 
. However, although SSRIs’ success rate is up to 60% 
, CBT’s efficacy is routinely inconsistent between people. Even the combination of both treatment approaches only reaches up to 70% effectiveness 
. Thus, additional therapeutic approaches are needed.
Generally, music therapy has shown positive impacts on people with mental health problems. As a catalyst of change, music therapy can reduce the symptoms of various disorders and foster overall well-being 
. Some studies, for example, Atiwannapat et al. 
, have found that individual or group music therapy, either active or receptive, as an adjunct to standard medication and psychological treatment, have some effect in reducing depressive scores in major depressive disorder (MDD) 
. Furthermore, a systematic review by Testa et al. summarised studies that reported improvements in food consumption and symptom reduction in anorexia nervosa patients with the help of listening to classical music and singing 
. Considering the comorbidity of OCD and other mental disorders (e.g., general anxiety disorders and eating disorders), the therapeutic advantages of music may also be used to alleviate symptoms of OCD or anxious and depressive symptoms in people with OCD 
. Several empirical studies have suggested the benefits of music therapy on OCD. For example, receptive music therapy helped reduce obsessive symptoms with comorbid anxiety and depression 
. A replication of this research reported similar findings where receptive music therapy was beneficial in easing the seriousness of both obsessive and compulsive symptoms 
. Furthermore, improvisational music therapy might also alleviate symptoms in OCD patients 
There are three different connections between music and OCD: First, the perception of music can appear as a symptom of OCD. Published case reports suggest that these musical obsessions may be treated with SSRIs or a combination of an SSRI with psychotherapy or with an atypical antipsychotic. However, there is no evidence from clinical studies to further substantiate this therapeutic approach; Second, studies regarding the peculiarities of music perception in people with obsessive-compulsive personality traits or OCD have shown an increased desire for harmony and alignment in these people when listening to music; Third, music may have therapeutic potential for people with OCD. However, the level evidence for the use of music listening and music therapy in the treatment of OCD is low, and the specific approaches (active vs. passive) and the settings (group vs. individual therapy; inpatient vs. outpatient) remain unclear.