Implementing Physical Exercise and Music Interventions for Patients Suffering from Dementia on an Acute Psychogeriatric Inpatient Ward


Nordic Journal of Psychiatry




Background: Increasing attention is focusing on psychosocial interventions for treating patients with dementia. Aims: This observational intervention study investigated the impact of physical exercise and music interventions among patients with dementia on an acute psychogeriatric ward. Materials and methods: The data were collected during February 2009-December 2010 (n = 89; treatment as usual) and during April 2011-March 2013 (n = 86; treatment as usual with physical exercise, e.g. balance, flexibility, strength training, and music interventions, e.g. singing, listening to music and playing instruments). The primary outcome measure was the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and the secondary outcome measures were the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living, the Barthel Index, and the Mini-Mental State Examination. Results: In both groups, neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) decreased (p < .001) but daily functioning deteriorated (p < .001). No significant between-group differences for either outcome variable were found. Based on linear mixed models, fewer exercise sessions associated with more severe symptoms (p = .030), and the time variable (admission/discharge) with a decline in the level of NPS (p < .001). Moreover, female gender (p = .026) and more exercise sessions (p = .039) associated with an increased level of functioning (p = .031) and the time variable (admission/discharge) with a drop in the level of functioning during hospitalization (p < .001). Conclusion: Although no differences were found between the study groups, analysis within the intervention group suggest that physical exercise may have some positive effects for both NPS and the level of functioning in some patients with dementia while no positive effects regarding music interventions were found.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Hospital Setting; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Playing an Instrument; Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Singing a Song; Symptom Management; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Activities of Daily Living; Elderly; Elderly; Dementia; Exercise; Exercise Therapy; Geriatric Psychiatry; Inpatients; Psychiatric Department, Hospital; Activities of daily living; behavioral symptoms; dementia; exercise

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Quasi-Experimental Study

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