Global Music Approach to Persons With Dementia: Evidence and Practice


Clinical Interventions in Aging




Music is an important resource for achieving psychological, cognitive, and social goals in the field of dementia. This paper describes the different types of evidence-based music interventions that can be found in literature and proposes a structured intervention model (global music approach to persons with dementia, GMA-D). The literature concerning music and dementia was considered and analyzed. The reported studies included more recent studies and/or studies with relevant scientific characteristics. From this background, a global music approach was proposed using music and sound-music elements according to the needs, clinical characteristics, and therapeutic-rehabilitation goals that emerge in the care of persons with dementia. From the literature analysis the following evidence-based interventions emerged: active music therapy (psychological and rehabilitative approaches), active music therapy with family caregivers and persons with dementia, music-based interventions, caregivers singing, individualized listening to music, and background music. Characteristics of each type of intervention are described and discussed. Standardizing the operational methods and evaluation of the single activities and a joint practice can contribute to achieve the validation of the application model. The proposed model can be considered a low-cost nonpharmacological intervention and a therapeutic-rehabilitation method for the reduction of behavioral disturbances, for stimulation of cognitive functions, and for increasing the overall quality of life of persons with dementia.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Behavioral State; Caregivers; Elderly; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Quality of Life; Recreative Music Methods; Singing a Song; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Mental Disorders; Quality of Life; dementia; evidence-based practice; global music approach in dementia

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type