The Effect of Background Stimulative Music on Behavior in Alzheimer's Patients


Journal of Music Therapy




Previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of music therapy in Alzheimer's patients, focusing either on improvement of healthy cognitive and social skills, or reduction of agitation symptoms. The present study examined the effect of background music on both positive and negative behaviors, during a time in which patients were not occupied with any structured activity. Twenty eight participants were observed both with and without stimulative, familiar background music. Results showed both a significant increase in positive social behaviors and a significant decrease in negative behaviors related to agitation when music is played. Results demonstrate the contribution of music to enhancing general positive functioning in elderly patients with dementia, and reducing negative behaviors typical of their condition.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Anxiety; Behavioral State; Elderly; Engagement Level; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes

Indexed Terms

Activities of Daily Living; Elderly; Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Anxiety; Geriatric Assessment; Homes for the Aged; Mental Status Schedule; Nursing Homes; Social Behavior Disorders

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type