“The Day the Music Died”-A Pilot Study on Music and Depression in a Nursing Home

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      Background: The nursing home Valerengen bo– og servicesenter in Oslo, Norway, a long–term institution with 84 residents, has continually had regular music therapy activities with a music therapist in full–time employment since 1999. The institution was without music therapy services during the fall of 2003.

      Method: At the end of the period without a music therapist, measurement of depression level by the use of Montgomery Aasberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was conducted on residents (n=72). Two months after music therapy services had been resumed with music therapy groups twice a week in each ward and individualized services other days, a new measurement of depression level of all residents was conducted.

      Results: Depression rating show a significant fall in the music therapy condition, compared with the no music therapy condition in a crossover design: MADRS 20.4 on an average in the no music condition, 12.2 on an average in the music condition (p < .05). Staff at the institution was stable, and there were no significant changes in medication.

      Conclusion: A significant reduction in the average level of depression in a nursing home when music therapy services are resumed warrants recommendation for a larger controlled follow–up study.


      Web link: http://dx.doi.org.remote.libproxy.wlu.ca/10.1080/08098130809478194


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