Training formal caregivers in the use of live music interventions during personal care with persons living with dementia: a systematic mixed studies review


Aging & Mental Health




OBJECTIVES: To examine research on the training of formal caregivers in live music interventions within care situations with persons with dementia. METHODS: This review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020196506). PubMed, PsycINFO (Ovid), MEDLINE, Discovery EBSCO, Embase, CINAHL (Complete), AMED and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global were searched in September 2020 and again in October 2022. English, peer-reviewed studies on formal caregivers trained in using live music when caring one-on-one with persons with dementia were included. The Mixed Methods Assessment Tool (MMAT) was employed to assess quality, and narrative synthesis with effect sizes (Hedges-g) and thematic analysis were used for quantitative and qualitative studies respectively. RESULTS: Nine studies (four qualitative, three quantitative, two mixed methods studies) were included. Quantitative studies demonstrated significant differences for music training on outcomes measuring agitation and emotional expression. Thematic analysis yielded five themes: emotional wellbeing; mutual relationship; shifts in caregivers' experiences; care environment; and insights into person-centered care. CONCLUSION: Training for staff in live music interventions may benefit the delivery of person-centered care by supporting communication, easing care, and capacitating caregivers to meet the needs of persons with dementia. Findings appeared context specific due to high heterogeneity and small sample sizes. Further research on quality of care and caregiver outcomes, and sustainability of training is recommended.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Neurodegenerative Disorders; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Agitation; Emotional Functioning; Wellness and Well-Being; Caregivers; Music Medicine; Music Listening; Live Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Dementia; Caregivers; formal caregivers; live music; person-centered care; Qualitative Research; training

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantiative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type