Title

Music Therapy in Dementia: A Narrative Synthesis Systematic Review

Journal

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Year

2013

Volume

28

Issue

8

First Page

781

Last Page

94

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Recent reviews on music therapy for people with dementia have been limited to attempting to evaluate whether it is effective, but there is a need for a critical assessment of the literature to provide insight into the possible mechanisms of actions of music therapy. This systematic review uses a narrative synthesis format to determine evidence for effectiveness and provide insight into a model of action. METHOD: The narrative synthesis framework consists of four elements: (i) theory development; (ii) preliminary synthesis of findings; (iii) exploration of relationships between studies; and (iv) assessment of the robustness of the synthesis. RESULTS: Electronic and hand searches identified 263 potentially relevant studies. Eighteen studies met the full inclusion criteria. Three distinctive strands of investigations emerged: eight studies explored behavioural and psychological aspects, five studies investigated hormonal and physiological changes, and five studies focused on social and relational aspects of music therapy. The musical interventions in the studies were diverse, but singing featured as an important medium for change. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence for short-term improvement in mood and reduction in behavioural disturbance was consistent, but there were no high-quality longitudinal studies that demonstrated long-term benefits of music therapy. Future music therapy studies need to define a theoretical model, include better-focused outcome measures, and discuss how the findings may improve the well-being of people with dementia.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Elderly; Mood; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neurocognitive Disorders; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life; Recorded Music Listening; Recreative Music Methods; Singing a Song; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic; Dementia; Narration; Psychotherapy, Group; Social Behavior; narrative synthesis; systematic review

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Systematic Review

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

PubMed ID

23080214

Document Type

Article

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