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Could music therapy have positive effect on people living with dementia? Music therapy is often used informally in residential care units, as it seems to have positive effects on people living with dementia, specifically enhancing communication, emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills.

But is there a scientific justification for adopting music therapy for dementia care? A group of Irish scientists conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on the subject and what they found out seems encouraging.

Music therapy does indeed seem to promote lower levels of agitation and behavioural symptoms, while enhancing mood and socialization of individuals living with dementia. Noticeably, the positive effects were not limited to those individuals living with dementia, but they were extended to the caregivers as well.

The researchers noted how some of the studies they reviewed were limited in their scope, therefore warranting further research, but regardless, the findings were positive, and they would recommend music therapy as part of the clinical gerontological nursing practice.