Combining Music and Reminiscence Therapy Interventions for Wellbeing in Elderly Populations: A Systematic Review


L. Istvandity


Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice




Both music therapy and reminiscence therapy are currently being used to increase aspects of wellbeing in older people, including those with memory diseases such as dementia, as alternatives to pharmacological treatments. There is growing evidence that combining these therapies in a focused way would provide unique wellbeing outcomes for this population. This review aims to report on the existing intervention studies that utilize both music and reminiscence activities in equal measure in elderly adult populations. A systematic review of intervention-based studies published between 1996 and 2016 was carried out: five studies were included in this review. Included studies were predominantly carried out in aged care facilities with aged populations affected by a range of conditions; all studies assessed aspects of mental well-being. The review found music reminiscence therapy to have positive effects for participants in four out of five studies. Further research incorporating qualitative methods and mapping of intervention procedures would complement existing findings.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Elderly; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Nursing Homes; Quality of Life; Recorded Music Listening; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Dementia; Health Services for the Aged; Memory; Psychotherapy; Quality of Life; Memory; Older adults; Reminiscence; Systematic review; Wellbeing

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Systematic Review

PubMed ID


Document Type