Comparison of Different Methods for Eliciting Exercise-to-music for Clients With Alzheimer's Disease


Journal of Music Therapy




Many of the noted problems associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) sometimes can be delayed, retarded, or even reversed with proper exercise and interaction with the environment. An overwhelming body of research efforts has revealed that music activity brings about the greatest degree of responsiveness, including exercise, in clients with AD; yet, specific techniques which elicit the greatest amount of physical responses during the music activities remain unidentified. The purpose of this study was two-fold: comparing two methods of intervention and comparing responses to vocal versus instrumental music during exercise and exercise with instruments. In Experiment 1 the authors compared 2 treatment conditions to facilitate exercise during music activities: (a) verbalizing the movement for each task once, one beat before commencing, followed by visual cueing for the remainder of the task; (b) verbal and visual cueing for each revolution or change in rhythm for the duration of the task. Data collection over 38 sessions consisted of recording the participation of each client at 30-second intervals for the duration of each treatment condition, indicating at each interval whether the client was participating in the designated movement (difficult), participating in exercise approximating the designated movement (easy), or not participating. Results indicated that the continuous verbal cueing/easy treatment elicited significantly greater participation than one verbal cue/difficult treatment, p < .05. Furthermore, the approximation/precise response (easy) resulted in significantly greater responses than the precise response (difficult), p < .001. In Experiment 2 the responses to types of music, vocal versus instrumental, during types of activities, exercise with and without instruments, were examined. Data were collected over 26 sessions, 52 activities, in the same 2 assisted living facilities as those in Experiment 1, but one year later Results indicated that both the type of activity and the type of music had some effect on participation. Also, data indicated participation in exercise to instrumental music was significantly greater than exercise with instruments to vocal music, p < .05.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Elderly; Functional Status; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Music-Based Toning; Music and Exercise; Music Therapy; Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Anxiety; Cognition Disorders; Exercise; Health Status; Longitudinal Studies; Patient Compliance

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type