Long-Term Effects of Music Therapy on Elderly with Moderate/Severe Dementia

Juntendo University, Edo, Tokyo, Japan
Journal of music therapy (Impact Factor: 0.8). 12/2006; 43(4):317-33. DOI: 10.1093/jmt/43.4.317
Source: PubMed


Over a period of 2 years we assessed the long-term effects of group music therapy carried out once weekly on the elderly (mean
age: 83 years) suffering from moderate or severe dementia by observing changes in the cortisol level in saliva and in blood
pressure and by an intelligence assessment. Systolic blood pressure determined 1 and 2 years after the start of therapy increased
significantly in the nonmusic therapy group compared with that in music therapy group (p < .05). Systolic blood pressure increases
with aging; the systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in participants who received music therapy. No significant
differences in cortisol level in saliva or intelligence assessment score were observed, but the music therapy group maintained
their physical and mental states during the 2-year period better than the nonmusic therapy group. This result indicates the
lasting effect of once-a-week continuous music therapy. Even the elderly with moderate or severe dementia were able to participate
in the group music therapy, and results suggest that enjoying singing and playing musical instruments in a concert was effective
in preventing cardiac and cerebral diseases.

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    • "The conclusions of three studies were drawn from analysis of treatment rather than the results based on intention to treat. High dropout rates were found in five studies (range: 25–57%), some highlighting the challenge of collecting physiological data from this population such as saliva collection (Suzuki et al., 2004; Takahashi and Matsushita, 2006) and blood samples (Kumar et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: 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. 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. 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. 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. Copyright
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
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    • "In comparison with the other quantitative studies, these involved larger sample sizes of 43 (VanderArk et al., 1983; Takahashi & Matsushita, 2006) and 72 (Myskja & Nord, 2008). All of these studies examined elderly residents in nursing homes, with one specifically investigating individuals with dementia (Takahashi & Matsushita, 2006). Statistically significant improvements for the singing intervention over no intervention were found for satisfaction (VanderArk et al., 1983), and mood (Myskja & Nord, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Meaningful interventions that enhance psychosocial factors, such as improving mood, reducing anxiety or increasing motivation, have the potential to ameliorate therapeutic outcomes for individuals in therapeutic programs. Singing, with its capacity for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical engagement, demonstrates potential as an accessible intervention that could facilitate such benefits. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of active singing as an intervention for improving psychosocial measures for people in therapeutic programs. Literature was searched through databases Medline, PsycInfo, Embase, Cinahl, Amed, and PubMed. Key concepts included populations in therapeutic programs, active singing as an intervention and psychosocial outcomes. Fourteen articles were identified that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These studies were assessed against quality criteria and data were tabulated for analysis and synthesis of results. Of the 11 quantitative studies, three demonstrated significantly improved psychosocial measures following the active singing intervention, and three further studies showed significant effects for both active singing and a comparison intervention. These findings are inconclusive and indicate that a variety of interventions including active singing demonstrate a capacity to improve psychosocial measures in the populations examined. Evidence from three qualitative papers, however, suggests that active singing may have some less tangible benefits that were not captured in the quantitative data. Further research with random group allocation, validated measurement tools, larger sample sizes and mixed quantitative and qualitative designs might increase the potential for results that capture the psychosocial effects of active singing for therapeutic purposes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Nordic Journal of Music Therapy
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    • "Clinical reports have long described benefits gained by people with dementia from music therapy, generally involving listening , although a few studies utilize interventions involving performance by patients (Bannan & Montgomery-Smith, 2008; Killick & Allan, 1999; Takahashi & Matsushita, 2006). A number of recent studies have provided support for music therapy as a positive intervention for anxiety and related symptoms in dementia. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders and related symptoms commonly occur in older people with cognitive impairment or dementia, significantly worsening functioning and reducing quality of life. This review of the literature outlines the extent of the problem, and focuses on current best practices in psychosocial interventions anxiety in persons with dementia. Discussion follows on promising nonpharmacological interventions that are recommended for further consideration and future research.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Journal of Gerontological Social Work
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