Musical intervention for patients with dementia: A meta-analysis

  • Vasionyte I
  • Madison G
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Aims and objectives To provide a meta-analysis of the effects of music interventions on patients with dementia, separating, for the first time, between different types of interventions and different outcome measures, namely affective, behavioural, cognitive and physiological. Background Music therapy is an attractive form of intervention for the growing number of demented patients, for whom pharmacological interventions are not always effective and may lead to undesired side effects. While music is more frequently applied in clinical settings for each year, no meta-analysis has considered effects of music interventions on affective, behavioural, cognitive and physiological outcomes separately. Design A standard meta-analysis approach was applied. Methods We include all original studies found for the key words music and dementia. Mean effect sizes and confidence intervals are computed from study effect sizes according to standard methods, and these are considered for various common types of music interventions separately. Results Nineteen studies with a total of 478 dementia patients exhibit effect sizes ranging from 0·04-4·56 (M = 1·04). Many of these indicate large positive effects on behavioural, cognitive and physiological outcome measures, and medium effects on affective measures. Conclusions Music interventions seem to be effective and have the potential of increasing the quality of life for patients with dementia. Many studies in this area suffer from poor methodological quality, which limits the reach of meta-analysis and the strength and generalisability of these conclusions. Relevance to clinical practice Being inexpensive and largely without adverse side effects, current knowledge seems to indicate that music interventions can be recommended for patients in all stages of dementia. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Clinical Nursing is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Affective
  • Behaviour
  • Clinical practice
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Dementia
  • Emotion
  • Meta-analysis
  • Music
  • Music therapy
  • Treatment effects

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