Mag. Christian Gold, PhD
Christian Gold

My scientific work is about connecting randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and social/cognitive/affective neuroscience to understand how cultural activities such as music can be used to promote health. My current research can be described as translational, in several ways: translating between basic and applied research; between clinical and statistical thinking; between languages and cultures.
I spent the first decade of my career with music and music therapy; the second with clinical trials and biostatistics; and the third with neuroscience. I moved from Germany to Vienna to study music; then went to Scandinavia to conduct clinical research with direct societal relevance; and then connected back to Central Europe to integrate aspects of basic research. My PhD, a large non-randomised study, taught me the importance of large samples and of randomisation. Over the years, I have conducted or contributed to RCTs across many countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, UK, USA). Randomisation is the best way to separate cause and effect, but while large, simple RCTs can provide definite answers to simple questions, we also need to find ways to address the fact that complex interventions are always changing. Therefore, I am very interested in RCT designs that go beyond the traditional simple trial design – biomarkers, adaptive designs, flexible manuals – while also recognising that each adaptation adds complexity.

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Hartmann M, Mavrolampados A, Toiviainen P, Saarikallio S, Foubert K, Brabant O et al. Musical interaction in music therapy for depression treatment. Psychology of music. 2023 Jan;51(1):33-50. Epub 2022 Apr 9. doi: 10.1177/03057356221084368

Grau-Sánchez J, Jamey K, Paraskevopoulos E, Dalla Bella S, Gold C, Schlaug G et al. Putting music to trial: Consensus on key methodological challenges investigating music-based rehabilitation. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2022 Dec;1518(1):12-24. Epub 2022 Sep 30. doi: 10.1111/nyas.14892

Geretsegger M, Fusar-Poli L, Elefant C, Mössler KA, Vitale G, Gold C. Music therapy for autistic people. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2022 May 9;2022(5):004381. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004381.pub4

Ghetti C, Chen XJ, Brenner AK, Hakvoort LG, Lien L, Fachner J et al. Music therapy for people with substance use disorders. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2022 May 9;2022(5):012576. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012576.pub3

Baker FA, Lee YEC, Sousa TV, Stretton-Smith PA, Tamplin J, Sveinsdottir V et al. Clinical effectiveness of music interventions for dementia and depression in elderly care (MIDDEL): Australian cohort of an international pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. Healthy Longevity. 2022 Mar;3(3):e153-e165. doi: 10.1016/S2666-7568(22)00027-7

Gaden TS, Ghetti C, Kvestad I, Bieleninik Ł, Stordal AS, Assmus J et al. Short-term Music Therapy for Families With Preterm Infants: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics (English Edition). 2022 Feb 1;149(2):e2021052797. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-052797

Pedersen IN, Bonde LO, Hannibal NJ, Nielsen J, Aagaard J, Gold C et al. Music Therapy vs. Music Listening for Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia: Randomized, Controlled, Assessor- and Patient-Blinded Trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2021 Dec 21;12:738810. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.738810

Yakobson D, Gold C, Beck BD, Elefant C, Bauer-Rusek S, Arnon S. Effects of Live Music Therapy on Autonomic Stability in Preterm Infants: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. Children. 2021 Nov 22;8(11):1077. doi: 10.3390/children8111077

Gold C. Unclear conclusions on SARS-CoV-2 elimination versus mitigation. The Lancet. 2021 Oct 30;398(10311):1566. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02229-7

Erkkila J, Brabant O, Hartmann M, Mavrolampados A, Ala-Ruona E, Snape N et al. Music Therapy for Depression Enhanced With Listening Homework and Slow Paced Breathing: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Frontiers in Psychology. 2021 Feb 16;12:613821. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.613821

Ghetti CM, Vederhus BJ, Gaden TS, Brenner AK, Bieleninik Ł, Kvestad I et al. Longitudinal Study of Music Therapy's Effectiveness for Premature Infants and Their Caregivers (LongSTEP): Feasibility Study With a Norwegian Cohort. Journal of music therapy. 2021 Jan 15;58(2):201-240. doi: 10.1093/jmt/thaa023

Janus SIM, Vink AC, Ridder HM, Geretsegger M, Stige B, Gold C et al. Developing consensus description of group music therapy characteristics for persons with dementia. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. 2020 Jun 26;30(1):24-40. doi: 10.1080/08098131.2020.1779790

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Department of Clinical and Health Psychology

Liebiggasse 5
1010 Wien