Effect of Music Intervention on Apathy in Nursing Home Residents With Dementia


Geriatr Nurs




This study examined the effectiveness of group music intervention in the treatment of nursing home residents with apathy. Apathy can clinically defined with a score of 40 or above on the apathy evaluation scale (AES). Seventy-seven residents were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. The intervention group was given a music intervention programme, which included listening to traditional music, including nostalgic songs, and playing musical instruments three times a week, for a total of twelve weeks. Results demonstrated a decrease in apathy scores in the intervention group (z = 4.667, P <0.01), but not in the control group (z = -1.810, P > 0.05). Cognitive function, as assessed by Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score, was stable in the intervention group (t = 1.720, P > 0.05), but declined in the control group (t = -1.973, P <0.05). We conclude that music intervention has the potential to be an effective therapy for the treatment of apathy in the early stages of dementia.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Behavioral Scales; Elderly; Long-Term Care Facility; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Playing an Instrument; Recreative Music Methods; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Apathy; Behavior Therapy; Cognition; Dementia; Nursing Homes; Apathy; Dementia; Music intervention; Older people nursing

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

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Document Type