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MUSIC THERAPY RESEARCH SELECTIONS

Dementia/Alzheimer's

  • Music interventions can increase quality of life and emotional well-being in adults with dementia, as well as reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms (Vink, A. C., Bruinsma, M. S., & Scholten, R. J., 2003).
  • Music therapy is effective in maintaining active involvement and decreasing behavioral problems in individuals with dementia (Koger, Chapin, & Brotons, 1999). 
  • Adults with neurocognitive disorder demonstrated improvements in cognitive functioning after participating in a music and movement group compared with a movement-only group (Moore & Lesiuk, 2018).

  • After six weeks of individual music therapy, individuals with dementia demonstrated reduced levels of disruptiveness and agitation, as well as reduced medication increases (Ridder, Stige, Qvale, & Gold, 2013). 

Parkinson's/Neurological Disorders

  • A meta-analysis of 27 articles indicated that music therapy can benefit motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms, and quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (Garcia-Casares, Martin-Colom, & Garcia-Arnes, 2018). 
  • After participating in an 8-week group singing intervention, Parkinson’s patients saw improvements in maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressure, as well as improvements in phonation time (Stegemöller, E. L., Radig, H., Hibbing, P., Wingate, J., & Sapienza, C., 2017).
  • Parkinson’s patients who participated in a singing group said that the group was beneficial, engaging, and fun (Stegemöller, E. L., Hurt, T. R., O’Connor, M. C., Camp, R. D., Green, C. W., Pattee, J. C., & Williams, E. K., 2017).
  • Parkinson’s patients experienced statistically significantly less fatigue and exertion during a Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance intervention than they did during a traditional occupational therapy intervention (Lim, Miller, Fabian, 2011). 

Stroke/Rehabilitation

  • The music therapy technique of Rhythmic Auditory Cueing has had positive impacts on walking velocity, cadence, and stride length in stroke patients (Yoo & Kim, 2016).
  • Keyboard playing can significantly support hand dexterity in subacute stroke patients during rehabilitation (Hyun, Soo, & Soo, 2017). 
  • After participating in one month of Neurologic Music Therapy focused on language, aphasic stroke patients demonstrated significant improvements in the aphasia quotient, repetition, and naming (Lim, Kim, Lee, Yoo, Hwang, Kim, & Kim, 2013).

  • Patients with Broca’s aphasia experienced significant improvement in expressive language after participating in twelve weeks of group music therapy with a focus on singing, speech, intonation, and oral exercises (Tomaino, 2012). 

Health & Wellness

  • Music therapy can significantly reduce pain in palliative care patients (Gutsgell, Schluchter, Margevicius, Degolia, Mclaughlin, Harris, Mecklenburg, Wiencek, 2013).
  • Music has a positive effect on pain, anxiety, mood, and muscle tension among hospitalized patients (Cole & LoBiondo-Wood, 2012).
  • Older adults who participated in several music programs reported benefits to their social relations and personal development (Solé, Mercadal-Brotons, Gallego, & Riera, 2010).
  • Cancer patients who received music therapy for symptom management reported that music therapy provided relaxation, a therapeutic relationship, and intrapersonal relations (Potvin, Bradt, & Kesslick, 2015). 

Anxiety & Depression

  • Music therapy can significantly reduce depressive symptoms in older adults (Zhao, Bai, Bo, & Chi, 2016).
  • Older adults who participated in a 10-week music therapy group program showed decreases in symptoms of anxiety and depression (Castelino, Ajay, Fisher, Hoskyns, Zeng, & Waite, 2013).
  • Older adults with depressive symptoms demonstrated significant decreases in negative affect and unpleasant memories after 9 music therapy sessions (Suzuki, 1998). 

Hospice/End-of-Life

  • Hospice patients with terminal cancer who received music therapy during their time in hospice reported a statistically significant increase in quality of life after their first visit, and these scores continued to increase over time (Hilliard, 2003).
  • Hospice patients reported an increase in spiritual well-being on days they received music therapy (Wlodarczyk, 2007).
  • Family of hospice patients said that music therapy was beneficial for them as well as their loved ones (Gallagher, Lagman, Bates, Edsall, Eden, Janaitis, & Rybicki, 2017).

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

  • Direct care staff of adults with intellectual disabilities said that music therapy was beneficial for social, physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning (Wells Staab & Dvorak, 2019).
  • After participating in music therapy sessions, adults with severe developmental disabilities demonstrated more positive interactions with one another than they did before music therapy (Hooper, 2001).
  • In a study of adults with developmental disabilities, music therapy decreased the duration of maladaptive emotionally regulative behaviors more than standard treatment (Bender, Colwell, Clair, & Johnson, 2011).