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Music Therapy Decreases Sadness and Increases Happiness in Alzheimer Patients: A Pilot Study

Author(s): Jose Enrique de la Rubia Orti, Maria Pilar Garcia Pardo, Maria Benllochi, Eraci Drehmer, Jose Luis Platero, Alejandro Salazar, David Sancho, Maria Mar Lopez Rodriguez


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible neuro-degenerative dementia that causes emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression associated with low well-being and changes of state of mind. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of a music therapy protocol as a tool to improve basic emotions in AD.


It is an analytical, experimental and prospective study. 30 Alzheimer patients of a mild level with an average age of 76,28 ± 4,6 years, participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned either to a Control Group (n=15) or an Intervention Group (n=15) that received music therapy twice a week during three months (24 sessions). Due to some limitations of the work, it is only a pilot study.


The data showed that no significant differences exist between pre and post values in the control group (that did not receive music therapy) in any basic emotion measure (fear, happiness, anger and sadness). However, in the intervention group (that received music therapy for three months) a significant improvement can be observed in all the emotions comparing pre and post intervention (more happiness and less fear, anger and sadness). Moreover, the result comparing control and intervention group between them in post-session showed that the patients of the intervention groups had a significant improvement in happiness and sadness after the application of music therapy. Conclusions

An intervention using music therapy increases the state of happiness and decreases sadness in mild Alzheimer sufferers.

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