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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2019 Jan;19(1):30-34. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13563. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Results from a person-centered music intervention for individuals living with dementia.

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George Mason University, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.



Dementia is a chronic, costly disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Effective, affordable person-centered interventions are required to improve the lived experiences of individuals with dementia and their caregivers in various care settings. The present study examined the effects of a person-centered music listening intervention on mood, agitation and social engagement for individuals living with dementia.


This quasi-experimental study was carried out with participants at five community-based adult day health centers (n = 51). Standardized instruments were used to measure mood and agitation, and in-person and video-recorded observations of participant behavior were used to analyze changes before, during and after the intervention across four domains: mood, agitation, connecting to music and engaging socially. Within-person differences were examined using the Wilcoxon signed rank test, and between-group differences were examined using the Mann-Whitney U-test.


Although standardized instruments did not yield statistically significant results, the behavioral observations showed a positive change in mood and a decrease in agitation. From pre- to post-intervention, there were statistically significant increases in joy, eye contact, eye movement, being engaged and talkativeness, and a decrease in sleeping and moving or dancing.


Behavioral observations show the positive impact a person-centered music listening intervention might have on individuals living with dementia and attending adult day health centers. This affordable intervention provides a useful tool for caregivers that might improve the day-to-day experience of individuals living with dementia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 30-34.


dementia; music listening; person-centered

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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