The Effectiveness of Music-based Interventions for Dementia: An Umbrella Review


Music and Medicine




This paper is an umbrella review of systematic research reviews investigating music-based interventions for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. While the quality of research methodology for many articles is variable, the findings are nevertheless impressive regarding a variety of positive results for music and music therapy. The strongest outcomes include the ability of these interventions to reduce agitation, anxiety, depression, and other behavioral/psychological symptoms in this population. Yet the impact on cognition and memory is mixed, and it is difficult to determine whether observed improvements might be due to reductions in anxiety. The article addresses several music-based interventions and caregiver programming that have been effective. These findings support the success of music-based interventions, as well as the need for clinical and research guidelines to standardize protocols and compare research studies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Anxiety; Cognitive Abilities; Depression; Emotional Functioning; Memory; Music Medicine; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

dementia; agitation; anxiety; depression; cognition; Caregivers; Intervention; Memory; Methodology

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type