Evaluation of a TEACCH- and Music Therapy-based Psychological Intervention in Mild to Moderate Dementia: A Controlled Trial

Christian Fischer-Terworth
Paul Probst


Background: A multicomponent psychological intervention designed to alleviate neuropsychiatric symptoms and to improve communication in mild to moderate dementia was evaluated in a controlled trial. Components were (1) TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children)-based cognitive-behavioral and environmental interventions adapted for dementia and (2) music therapy. Methods: In a Pre-post design, the treatment group (n = 26) received the program for 6 months, whereas controls (n = 23) participated in nonspecific occupational therapy. Statistical analyses included t-tests, effect sizes, and two-way ANOVAs. Results: Relative to controls, the treatment group showed partly significant reductions of agitation, aggression, apathy, and anxiety, and improvement of communication, emotional expression, and activity. Conclusion: The intervention can help to increase psychological well-being in patients with dementia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)