Send to

Choose Destination
Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2018 May;39(5):398-402. doi: 10.1080/01612840.2017.1417519. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

The Impact of Combined Music and Tai Chi on Depressive Symptoms Among Community-Dwelling Older Persons: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

a University of Malaya , Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia.
b Department of Nursing Science , Ya'an Polytechnic College , Ya'an City , Sichuan Province , China.
c University of Malaya, Division of Geriatric Medicine , Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia.
d University of Malaya, Ageing and Age-Associated Disorders Research Group, Wellness Research Cluster , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia.
e Institute of Educational Leadership, University of Malaya , Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia.



The effectiveness of pharmacological treatment may be limited in older persons. Several studies using Tai Chi or music therapy separately confirmed positive effects in the reduction of depressive symptoms. We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate the possible synergistic effect of combined music and Tai Chi on depressive symptoms.


One hundred and seven older adults with mild to moderate depressive symptoms were recruited from Ya'an city. Fifty-five participants were cluster randomized to combined music and Tai Chi group for three months, while the other fifty-two individuals were randomized to the control group that entailed routine health education delivered monthly by community nurses. The primary outcome of depressive symptoms was measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) at baseline and monthly for three months.


At three-month follow-up, a statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms was found in the intervention group compared with control group (F(3,315) = 69.661, P < 0.001). Following adjustments for socio-demographic data, the true effect of intervention on depressive symptoms was significant (F = 41.725, P < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.574).


Combined music and Tai Chi reduced depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older persons. This represents an economically viable solution to the management of depression in highly populous developing nations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center