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January 2022

Influence of dinner music on food intake and symptoms common in dementia

Author(s): Brane, G., Karlsson, I., Kihlgren, M.

Journal/Book: Scand J Caring Sci. 1996; 10: 11-7.

Abstract: The influence of dinner music on food intake and symptoms common in dementia such as depressed mood, irritability and restlessness was studied. The study was carried out in a nursing-home ward in Sweden. Soothing music was played as dinner music for weeks, Swedish tunes form the 1920s and 1930s for two weeks and pop music for two weeks. Prior to these periods, there was one week without music, and at the end of the intervention there was a two-week control period. The effects of the intervention were assessed by psychological ratings and by weighing the food helpings. It was found that during all three music periods the patients ate more in total. The difference was particularly significant for the dessert. The staff were thought to be influenced by the music, as they served the patients more food, both main course and dessert, whenever music was played. The patients were less irritable, anxious and depressed during the music periods. The results of the study suggest that dinner music, particularly soothing music, can reduce irritability, fear-panic and depressed mood and can stimulate demented patients in a nursing-home ward into eating more.

Keyword(s): Dementia [psychology]; Eating; Food Services; Music Therapy [methods]

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