The effects of music therapy on engagement in family caregiver and care receiver couples with dementia

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2002 Sep-Oct;17(5):286-90. doi: 10.1177/153331750201700505.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of caregiver-implemented music applications on engagement with their care receivers. Eight couples participated individually in a series of sessions, where a music therapist trained and cued the caregivers to implement a music application of choice. Changes in engagement frequency over a series of five sessions was highly statistically significant. The authors conclude that music therapy applications are effective in increasing mutual engagement in caregiving and care receiving couples with dementia, and that caregivers can effectively facilitate the engagement using music. Furthermore, once the engagement is established, it carries over into visitation without music.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers*
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Music Therapy*
  • Observer Variation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videotape Recording