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J Clin Nurs. 2015 Dec;24(23-24):3425-40. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12976. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

The efficacy of music therapy for people with dementia: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Chang YS1,2, Chu H3,4,5, Yang CY1,6,7, Tsai JC8, Chung MH1, Liao YM1, Chi MJ9,10, Liu MF9, Chou KR1,8,9,11.

Author information

1
Graduate Institute of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
2
Department of Nursing, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
3
Aviation Physiology Research Laboratory, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital Gangshan Branch, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
4
Institute of Aerospace and Undersea Medicine, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
5
Department of Neurology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
6
Department of Nursing, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
7
School of Nursing, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
8
Department of Nursing, Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
9
School of Gerontology Health Management, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
10
Master Program in Long-term Care, College of Nursing, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.
11
Psychiatric Research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

To (1) perform a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials pertaining to the efficacy of music therapy on disruptive behaviours, anxiety levels, depressive moods and cognitive functioning in people with dementia; and (2) clarify which interventions, therapists and participant characteristics exerted higher and more prominent effects.

BACKGROUND:

Present study was the first to perform a meta-analysis that included all the randomised controlled trials found in literature relating to music therapy for people with dementia over the past 15 years.

DESIGN:

A meta-analysis study design.

METHODS:

Quantitative studies were retrieved from PubMed, Medline, Cochrane Library Database, CINAHL, SCOPUS and PsycINFO. A meta-analysis was used to calculate the overall effect sizes of music therapy on outcome indicators.

RESULTS:

Music therapy significantly improved disruptive behaviours [Hedges' g = -0·66; 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0·44 to -0·88] and anxiety levels (Hedges' g = -0·51; 95% CI = -0·02 to -1·00) in people with dementia. Music therapy might affect depressive moods (Hedges' g = -0·39; 95% CI = 0·01 to -0·78), and cognitive functioning (Hedges' g = 0·19; 95% CI = 0·45 to -0·08).

CONCLUSION:

Music therapy exerted a moderately large effect on disruptive behaviours of people with dementia, a moderate effect on anxiety levels and depressive moods, and a small effect on cognitive functioning.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Individual music therapy provided once a week to patients with cognitive functioning and manual guided in music intervention construction is suggested. Group music therapy is provided several times a week to reduce their disruptive behaviours, anxiety levels and depressive moods. Music therapy is a cost-effective, enjoyable, noninvasive therapy and could be useful for clinical nurses in creating an environment that is conducive to the well-being of patients with dementia.

KEYWORDS:

dementia; meta-analysis; music therapy

PMID:
26299594
DOI:
10.1111/jocn.12976
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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