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Music interventions for people with dementia: a review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Aging and Mental Health
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)312
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This paper provides a qualitative review of 21 published articles of clinical empirical studies looking at the effects of a variety of music activities on the emotional and behavioural responses in people with dementia. General information is reviewed such as the setting and context of studies, research findings and explanatory variables. Methodological issues are also discussed, particularly in relation to observational methods, and theoretical frameworks such as the progressively lowered stress threshold model are evaluated. Music appears to have a range of applications in dementia care but previous reviews have highlighted methodological weaknesses of studies. Recommendations for future research include the use of continuous time sampling methodology and to record the duration of observed behaviours. This review paper also argues for the use of Kitwood's theory of personhood as a framework to inform and guide future research.