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Systematic review: music, singing and wellbeing for adults living with dementia

Author(s)

VICTOR Christina, et al

Publisher(s):

What Works Centre for Wellbeing

Publication year:

2016

A systematic review of the subjective, self-reported wellbeing outcomes of music and singing in adults living with dementia. The review encompasses data from 249 participants in quantitative and qualitative studies from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, and the United Kingdom. It encompasses interventions focusing upon singing or listening to music. Three key domains of wellbeing are reported: quality of life, depression and anxiety. Studies and findings where the methodology entails observation by a researcher or clinician of the effects of music and singing on the wellbeing of people with dementia were excluded. In addition, the review excluded studies where the outcome was defined in terms of dementia or clinical symptoms or where the focus was on outcomes for carers. Given these caveats the key findings are that for people with dementia music and signing are important aspects of subjective wellbeing that can promote domains of subjective wellbeing, social connections and maintenance of identity. Active participation seemed to be less beneficial than listening to music but this is only a very tentative finding which needs support by further research. On the current evidence base, the review supports the development of policy and practice of support for music and singing interventions for wellbeing outcomes for people with dementia but suggests that interventions should reflect both active and passive forms of engagement. (Edited publisher abstract)


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