Comparative Efficacy of Active Group Music Intervention Versus Group Music Listening in Alzheimer's Disease


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health




BACKGROUND: Music interventions are promising therapies for the management of symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Globally, music interventions can be classified as active or receptive depending on the participation of the subjects. Active and receptive music tasks engage different brain areas that might result in distinctive clinical effects. This study aims to compare the clinical effects of two types of music interventions and a control activity. METHODS: Ninety AD patients from six nursing homes participated in the study. Nursing homes were randomly and blindly assigned to receive either active music intervention, receptive music intervention, or the usual care. Effects on cognition, behaviour, daily living activities, and motor function were assessed. RESULTS: Active music intervention improved cognition, behaviour, and functional state in a higher extent than both receptive music intervention and usual care. The effect size of active music intervention for cognitive deficits and behavioural symptoms was large (η(2) = 0.62 and 0.61, respectively), while for functional state, it was small-to-medium sized (η(2) = 0.18). Receptive music intervention had a stabilizing effect on behavioural symptoms compared to control intervention (mean change from baseline ± standard deviation = -0.76 ± 3.66 and 3.35 ± 3.29, respectively). In the active music intervention, the percentage of patients who showed improvement in cognitive deficits (85.7), behavioural symptoms (92.9), and functional state (46.4) was higher than in both receptive listening (11.8, 42.9, and 14.3, respectively) and control group (6.3, 12.2, and 17.1, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Active music intervention is useful to improve symptoms of AD and should be prescribed as a complement to the usual treatment.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Behavioral Scales; Cognitive Abilities; Elderly; Functional Status; Long-Term Care Facility; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Receptive Music Methods

Indexed Terms

Activities of Daily Living; Alzheimer Disease; Nursing Homes; Alzheimer’s disease; active music intervention; behaviour; cognition; daily living activities; motor function; receptive music intervention

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

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