A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Music Therapy for the Older Adults With Depression


International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry




OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of music therapy in the management of depression in the elderly. METHOD: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Change in depressive symptoms was measured with various scales. Standardized mean differences were calculated for each therapy-control contrast. RESULTS: A comprehensive search yielded 2,692 citations; 19 articles met inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis suggests that music therapy plus standard treatment has statistical significance in reducing depressive symptoms among older adults (standardized mean differences = 1.02; 95% CI = 0.87, 1.17). CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that music therapy has an effect on reducing depressive symptoms to some extent. However, high-quality trials evaluating the effects of music therapy on depression are required. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Depression; Depressive Disorder; Elderly; Mental Health; Mood Disorders; Mood Scales; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Psychological Outcomes; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Combined Modality Therapy; Depressive Disorder; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; late-life depression; meta-analysis

Study Type

Meta-Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Systematic Review

PubMed ID


Document Type