Bergen Research Group for Innovation, Growth, Health and Technology (BRIGHT)
Research findings

Results from "Tailored music therapy for dementia"

Main content

Eleven dyads (care receiver and caregiver) were included in the study. The first, fifth, and tenth session were video recorded using the software Noldus Observer XT 12.5 ©.  Social interaction alone (baseline) was compared to music therapy (intervention phase). A total of 32 music sessions, involving over 2000 observations were included in a meta-analysis comparing level of well-being and sociable interaction during baseline and the intervention phase.

Within sessions, we found close to a moderate (48%) increase in well-being. A small increase (32%) in sociable behavior towards caregivers was also found within sessions. Heterogeneity in our results was high, and potential reasons for this were explored through robust meta-regression analysis. These analyses indicated that the severity of dementia predicted an increase in nonverbal sociable interaction. In the participants with moderate dementia, nonverbal sociable interaction increased by 93%. 

The degeneration following dementia will eventually influence the relationship between the person and her or his significant others. Our findings underline the potential of music therapy to significantly influence the well-being of the individual as well as the interaction in close relations. The need to strengthen the knowledge base of this potential through future research is obvious. The present study also contributes to the further refinement of our hypotheses and research questions. 

This paper is published in Clinical Gerontologist.

The study is pre-registered at (www.clinicaltrials.gov, ID: NCT03011723), and approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics in Norway (2016/1374).