Music, Mind, Mood, and Mingling in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: A Scoping Review


Journal of Alzheimer's Disease




BACKGROUND: Music-based interventions may help to alleviate neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia and promote prosocial interactions between individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. However, current literature does not combine these evidence bases toward explanation of how music-based interventions may alleviate symptoms and promote prosocial interactions. OBJECTIVE: We conducted a scoping review to address the following question: what do the evidence bases suggest toward how music therapy or music-based therapeutic interventions might promote prosocial interactions between individuals living with dementia and their caregivers? METHODS: In this review we focused on: 1) quantitative and qualitative evidence of music-based therapies promoting prosocial behaviors in individuals living with dementia, and 2) potential neurobehavioral mechanisms associated with the processes involved with how music may promote prosocial interactions. Databases included PubMed, EBSCOhost's CINAHL and PsycINFO, Cochrane Library (sub-search conducted using ALOIS, the Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), Web of Science,, ProQuest's Biological Science Collection, the Journal of Music Therapy, Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, and Google Scholar. RESULTS: Sixteen original research studies were included for evidence synthesis. This scoping review reveals the need to define and clarify mechanisms of prosocial interactions between individuals living with dementia and their caregivers considering biological and social factors. These mechanisms may include dynamic interactions between preserved brain regions associated with music-evoked autobiographical memory recall and shifts from negative to positive mood states. CONCLUSION: Defining and clarifying how and to what extent music may promote prosocial behaviors using well-designed and well-controlled mixed-methods studies may positively influence the design of interventions to promote prosocial interactions with caregivers.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Caregivers; Engagement Level; Mental Health; Mood; Music and Cognition; Music Cognition; Music Therapy; ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Neurodegenerative Disorders

Indexed Terms

Affect; Alzheimer Disease; Dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; caregiver distress; dementia; mood; social factors

Study Type

Systematic Review; Quantitative Methods

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Document Type