Results from a Person-centered Music Intervention for Individuals Living With Dementia


Geriatrics & Gerontology International




AIM: Dementia is a chronic, costly disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Effective, affordable person-centered interventions are required to improve the lived experiences of individuals with dementia and their caregivers in various care settings. The present study examined the effects of a person-centered music listening intervention on mood, agitation and social engagement for individuals living with dementia. METHODS: This quasi-experimental study was carried out with participants at five community-based adult day health centers (n = 51). Standardized instruments were used to measure mood and agitation, and in-person and video-recorded observations of participant behavior were used to analyze changes before, during and after the intervention across four domains: mood, agitation, connecting to music and engaging socially. Within-person differences were examined using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, and between-group differences were examined using the Mann-Whitney U-test. RESULTS: Although standardized instruments did not yield statistically significant results, the behavioral observations showed a positive change in mood and a decrease in agitation. From pre- to post-intervention, there were statistically significant increases in joy, eye contact, eye movement, being engaged and talkativeness, and a decrease in sleeping and moving or dancing. CONCLUSIONS: Behavioral observations show the positive impact a person-centered music listening intervention might have on individuals living with dementia and attending adult day health centers. This affordable intervention provides a useful tool for caregivers that might improve the day-to-day experience of individuals living with dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 30-34.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adult Day Care; Distress; Elderly; Engagement Level; Mood; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes; Recorded Music Listening; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Affect; Elderly; Elderly; Dementia; Person-Centered Psychotherapy; Psychomotor Agitation; Social Behavior; dementia; music listening; person-centered

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Quasi-Experimental Study

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