Feasibility and Effects of Individualized Recorded Music for People With Dementia: A Pilot RCT Study


Nordic Journal of Music Therapy




Introduction: Music interventions are thought to improve the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). However, results regarding the effectiveness of such interventions have been mixed and there is a lack of results regarding the feasibility of such interventions. In a pilot randomized controlled trial, we evaluate the feasibility and effects of an individualized recorded music intervention for people with dementia living in a nursing home. Methods: Twenty nursing home residents with dementia were randomly assigned to either an intervention or wait list control group. The intervention group listened to personally-relevant music playlists for 30 minutes every other day for four weeks. Nursing staff assessed participants’ BPSD pre- and post-intervention. The implementation, acceptance, and applicability of the intervention were also evaluated. Results: The intervention could be successfully implemented in the institutionalized care setting and stimulated significant improvements in sleep quality along with trends towards improvements in social participation and agitation. Nursing staff were highly satisfied with the intervention. Discussion: The results suggest that carefully implemented individualized recorded music interventions are well accepted by nursing staff and can improve BPSD for people in nursing homes. Individualized music interventions represent an innovative and inexpensive alternative to pharmacological interventions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Engagement Level; Long-Term Care Facility; Music Listening; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes; Recorded Music Listening; Sleep Quality

Indexed Terms

Alzheimer's disease; non-pharmacological intervention; receptive music therapy; long-term care; nursing; Dementia; Nursing Homes; Institutionalization; Intervention; Long Term Care; Group Intervention

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

Document Type