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October 2021

The Effectiveness of Musically Cued Reminiscence in Increasing Cognitive Functioning in Alzheimer's Patients

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of three treatment approaches on the cognitive functioning of Alzheimer's patients: musically cued reminiscence, verbally cued reminiscence, and musical activity alone. The subjects were 12 female nursing home residents ranging in age from 71 to 92, suffering from senile dementia, and meeting currently accepted guidelines for defining Alzheimer's Disease. Six sessions were conducted over a three week period, two for each treatment approach. Changes in cognitive functioning were determined by differences in pre- and post-session treatment scores on the Mini Mental Status Questionnaire. Comparisons were made for totalscores and sub-scores for orientation, attention, and language. The results showed that the musically cued and verbally cued reminiscence significantly increased the language subscores but not the orientation or attention subscores or the total scores. Musical activity alone significantly increased total scores but none of the subscores. No one treatment intervention proved to be significantly more effective than the other two in increasing cognitive functioning. Pre-treatment scores were not predictive as to which intervention would be most effective. The findings suggest that music may be a useful treatment modality for Alzheimer's patients for promoting optimal cognitive functioning. Further research should be carried out over a longer period of time with more subjects.

Keyword(s): alzheimer's-disease, cognitive, cognitive-ability, music, nursing-home, reminiscence, musically-cued-remiiniscence, Mini-Mental-Status-Questionnaire.

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