Individualized Music Program Is Associated With Improved Outcomes for U.s. Nursing Home Residents With Dementia


American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry




OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to compare resident outcomes before and after implementation of an individualized music program, MUSIC & MEMORY (M&M), designed to address the behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia (BPSD). SETTING: 98 nursing homes trained in the M&M program during 2013 and 98 matched-pair comparisons. PARTICIPANTS: Long-stay residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) residing in M&M participating facilities (N = 12,905) and comparison facilities (N = 12,811) during 2012-2013. INTERVENTION: M&M is a facility-level quality improvement program that provides residents with music specific to their personal histories and preferences. MEASUREMENTS: Discontinuation of anxiolytic and antipsychotic medications, and reductions in behavioral problems and depressed mood in 2012 (pre-intervention) and 2013 (intervention), calculated using Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments. RESULTS: The proportion of residents who discontinued antipsychotic medication use over a 6-month period increased from 17.6% to 20.1% among M&M facilities, while remaining stable among comparison facilities (15.9% to 15.2%). The same trend was observed for anxiolytic medications: Discontinuation of anxiolytics increased in M&M facilities (23.5% to 24.4%), while decreasing among comparison facilities (24.8% to 20.0%). M&M facilities also demonstrated increased rates of reduction in behavioral problems (50.9% to 56.5%) versus comparison facilities (55.8% to 55.9%). No differences were observed for depressed mood. CONCLUSIONS: These results offer the first evidence that the M&M individualized music program is associated with reductions in antipsychotic medication use, anxiolytic medication use, and BPSD symptoms among long-stay nursing home residents with ADRD.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Anti-Anxiety Medication Intake; Behavioral State; Cognitive Abilities; Depression; Long-Term Care Facility; Medication Use; Memory; Mood; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Dementia; Nursing Homes; Outcome Assessment, Health Care; Quality Improvement; Alzheimer's disease; nonpharmacological intervention; nursing homes

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type