Music Therapy and Physical Activity to Ease Anxiety, Restlessness, Irritability, and Aggression in Individuals With Dementia With Signs of Frontotemporal Lobe Degeneration [2019]

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether a combined intervention of physical activity and music therapy could reduce anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and aggression among individuals with severe dementia. An exploratory design was used to evaluate a combined intervention of physical activity, music therapy, and daily walking. Interventions were systematically implemented for 8 weeks. Target groups were individuals with dementia with frontal lobe symptoms in institutional care. Primary outcome measure was the Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC). Four men and two women (mean age = 84.3 years) and their primary caretakers (n = 6) participated. The most prominent symptoms among participants at baseline were confusion, irritability, and verbal threats. The individual BVC total scores indicated significant improvements (p = 0.03). Implementation of individualized music therapy combined with increased physical activity for 8 weeks was a feasible intervention that reduced anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and aggression in the current study.

Birgitta Langhammer, PhD, RPT; Mette Sagbakken, PhD, RN; Kari Kvaal, PhD, RN; Ingun Ulstein, PhD, MD; Dagfinn Nåden, PhD, RN; May Karin Rognstad, PhD, RN
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, February 12, 2019