Pattern of Emotional Benefits Induced by Regular Singing and Music Listening in Dementia


Journal of the American Geriatrics Society




Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), such as depression and anxiety are highly prevalent symptoms in persons with dementia (PWDs) and represent one of the mostcomplex, stressful, and costly aspects of dementia care. Previous studies have demonstrated that the capacity of music to evoke emotions and memories is often preserved even in severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and that music therapy or musical activities can enhance mood and social interaction in PWDs, although more evidence is still needed. In a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT), we compared the cognitive and emotional effectiveness of two types of caregiver-implemented musical activities, singing and music listening, to standard care in mild-moderate dementia. Both singing and music listening improved performance on the MMSE and attention and executive function tests as well as reduced depression symptoms indexed by the Cornell-Brown Scale for Quality of Life in Dementia (CBS) total score. Extending this study, our aim was to determine whether singing and music listening, which differ motorically, cognitively, and emotionally, would show a distinct pattern of emotional benefits on the subscales of the CBS.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Agitation; Anxiety; Cognitive Abilities; Depression; Elderly; Emotional Functioning; Memory; Mood; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Quality of Life; Self-Concept; Singing a Song; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Dementia; Emotions; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Quality of Life; Singing

Study Type

"Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods; "

PubMed ID


Document Type