A Controlled Naturalistic Study on a Weekly Music Therapy and Activity Program on Disruptive and Depressive Behaviors in Dementia


Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders




AIM: This study explores the effects of a weekly structured music therapy and activity program (MAP) on behavioral and depressive symptoms in persons with dementia (PWD) in a naturalistic setting. METHODS: PWD attended a weekly group MAP conducted by a qualified music therapist and occupational therapist for 8 weeks. Two validated scales, the Apparent Emotion Scale (AES) and the Revised Memory and Behavioral Problems Checklist (RMBPC), were used to measure change in outcomes of mood and behavior. RESULTS: Twenty-eight subjects completed the intervention, while 15 wait-list subjects served as controls. Baseline AES and RMBPC scores were not significantly different between the intervention and control groups. After intervention, RMBPC scores improved significantly (p = 0.006) with 95% CI of the difference between the mean intervention and control group scores compared to baseline at -62.1 to -11.20. Total RMBPC scores in the intervention group improved from 75.3 to 54.5, but worsened in the control group, increasing from 62.3 to 78.6. AES scores showed a nonsignificant trend towards improvement in the intervention group. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that a weekly MAP can ameliorate behavioral and depressive symptoms in PWD.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Cognitive Abilities; Depression; Elderly; Memory; Mood Scales; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders; Caregivers; Cost of Illness; Dementia; Depressive Disorder; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; Emotions; Neuropsychological Tests; Singapore

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

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