Articles tagged with: dementia

Efficacy of Music Therapy in the Treatment of Behavioral and Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia

Raglio, Alfredo MT* †; Bellelli, Giuseppe MD‡; Traficante, Daniela PsyD, PhD§; Gianotti, Marta MT*; Ubezio, Maria Chiara MD*; Villani, Daniele MD*; Trabucchi, Marco MD
*Sospiro Foundation
Alzheimer’s Evaluation Unit, Ancelle della Carità Hospital, Cremona
Interdem Group (Psycho-Social Interventions in Dementia)
Department of Psychology and Education Technologies Research Center, Catholic University, Milan
for Vergata University, Rome
Geriatric Research Group, Brescia, Italy
Reprints: Alfredo Raglio, MT, Fondazione Sospiro, P.zza Libertà, 2 26048, Sospiro, Cremona, Italy (e-mail:;
Received for publication May 7, 2007; accepted November 14, 2007


Background: Music therapy (MT) has been proposed as valid approach for behavioral and psychologic symptoms (BPSD) of dementia. However, studies demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach are lacking.

Objective: To assess MT effectiveness in reducing BPSD in subjects with dementia.

Method: Fifty-nine persons with dementia were enrolled in this study. All of them underwent a multidimensional assessment including Mini Mental State Examination, Barthel Index and Neuropsychiatry Inventory at enrolment and after 8, 16, and 20 weeks. Subjects were randomly assigned to experimental (n=30) or control (n=29) group. The MT sessions were evaluated with standardized criteria. The experimental group received 30 MT sessions (16 wk of treatment), whereas the control group received educational support or entertainment activities.

Results: NPI total score significantly decreased in the experimental group at 8th, 16th, and 20th weeks (interaction time× group: F3, 165=5.06, P=0.002). Specific BPSD (ie, delusions, agitation, anxiety, apathy, irritability, aberrant motor activity, and night-time disturbances) significantly improved. The empathetic relationship and the patients’ active participation in the MT approach, also improved in the experimental group.

Conclusions: The study shows that MT is effective to reduce BPSD in patients with moderate-severe dementia.