Musical Dual-task Training in Patients With Mild-to-moderate Dementia: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment




Background/aims: Dual-task training may improve dual-task gait performance, balance, and cognition in older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Although music has been widely utilized in dementia management, there are no existing protocols for music-based dual-task training. This randomized controlled study developed a Musical Dual-Task Training (MDTT) protocol that patients with dementia can use to practice walking and making music simultaneously, to enhance attention control in patients during dual-tasking. Methods: Twenty-eight adults diagnosed with mild-to-moderate dementia were assigned to the MDTT (n = 15) or control groups (n = 13). The MDTT group received MDTT, while the control group participated in non-musical cognitive and walking activities. The effects of MDTT were evaluated through the primary outcome of attention control, and secondary outcomes of dual-task performance, balance, falls efficacy, and agitation. Results: The MDTT group showed a significant improvement in attention control, while the control group did not (P < 0.001). A significant effect favored MDTT over control treatment for the secondary outcome of falls efficacy (P = 0.02) and agitation (P < 0.01). Conclusion: MDTT, a music therapy intervention that demands a high level of cognitive processing, enhances attention control, falls efficacy, and helps alleviate agitation in patients with mild-to-moderate dementia. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Elderly; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Physical Exercise

Indexed Terms

musical dual-task; training; dementia; cognition; Dual Task Performance

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

Document Type