The Effect of Music Therapy on Reducing Depression in People With Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


Geriatric Nursing




The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of music therapy on reducing depression for people with dementia during different intervention intervals. A systematic review with a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The databases surveyed include AgeLine, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Cochrane. Seven studies were included in this review. The result revealed that music therapy significantly reduced depression at six, eight, and 16 weeks. This study also supported that music therapy significantly improved depression when the results of six studies with medium-term interventions were pooled. However, no evidence of effect of music therapy on depression was observed at three, four, 12 weeks, and five months during intervention, and one and two months after the cease of music therapy. Music therapy without a music therapist involved did not significantly reduce depression at any time. Medium-term of music therapy might be appropriate in reducing depression for people with dementia.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Depression; Elderly; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Dementia; Depression; Time Factors; Dementia; Depression; Meta-analysis; Music therapist

Study Type

Meta-Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Systematic Review

PubMed ID


Document Type