The literature on music and dementia points at an increasing interest in music therapy in dementia care. Here different assessment tools using music and musical interaction are described, a few studies examine the sedative adaptation of music, and several studies describe how different approaches might decrease symptoms of agitation. Music in connection with techniques to stimulate the body, such as dance or movements, or stimulation and motivation to active participation, is described in a considerable part of the literature.
A great number of studies show positive effects on cognition and on social interaction in persons with dementia. Personal interaction with focus on emotional or intrapsychic material is referred to in a smaller number of studies. The use of familiar songs as a way to express feelings and identity and to enable reminiscing processes, is integrated at different levels in a considerable number of studies. This shows that the literature covering music and dementia reflects evaluative, regulative, stimulative, and communicative approaches, and especially focus on stimulative and regulative approaches.
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