Music May Lower Depression in Dementia Patients: Study

A study from the University of Nottingham is set to look at how music intervention can help those living in elderly care with mental conditions like dementia and depression.

The School of Sociology at the University of Nottingham is taking part in the international-scale study called MIDDEL – Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression for Elderly Care.

Researchers hope to discover how incorporating music into the daily routine of residents living with depression and dementia in care homes affects their symptoms and quality of life.

Academics at the University of Nottingham have partnered with local care home provider Runwood to provide and study the effects of music interventions. Researchers hope to measure the impact that frequent participation in music interventions can have on the mood of residents.

Professor Justine Schneider, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, said: "We know that many people respond well to familiar music despite their cognitive problems. This study will help to understand how two approaches to delivering music affect care home residents.

"One approach is formal music therapy, the other is choir singing. We'll also be looking at their respective costs in a follow-on study with the London School of Economics."

The study is designed to compare different approaches to musical activities in different combinations, which will help conclude what a critical 'dosage' might be if effects are found. In due course, the MIDDEL study will help to figure out what kind of music works best for which residents and at what cost.

The MIDDEL study is taking place in Australia, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Turkey and the UK, with sixteen UK care homes chosen to take part.

The results of the study, which will include the UK data, are expected to come out in 2024.

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