Music-cued exercises for dementia

Miss Yasmine Gomaa1, Professor Meg Morris2

1Faculty of Physical therapy, Cairo University, , Egypt, 2Healthscope, Melbourne, Australia

Aim: To conduct a systematic review and critical appraisal of the dementia literature to understand the extent to which music facilitates movement in people with dementia.

Method: systematic review of the studies involved the use of music cued exercises aiming to improve motor and non-motor signs of dementia was conducted. The search was performed using MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PSYCHINFO, PUBMED, SCOPUS and WEB OF SCIENCE. Two groups of keywords were searched: the first group included Alzheimer OR dementia, and the second pertaining to music and exercises.

Results: As preliminary findings, the initial search yielded 1800 citations. Applying inclusion/exclusion criteria to the title and abstract of each citation resulted in retaining of 19 papers which were limited to 12 papers after full text assessment for eligibility and to be included in the review, six of which were RCTs. Preliminary results suggested that rhythmical music can enhance motor performance in people with early dementia.

Significance of the findings to allied health: Based on the preliminary findings, evidence was built regarding the effectiveness of using music coupled with exercise in enhancing not only physical abilities of the people with dementia, but also psychological and other non-motor signs of the disease. The body of knowledge obtained from this review will provide guidance to patients, caregivers and specialists in the decision-making process.