Music therapy has become more common globally as nonpharmacological treatment options for memory loss, pain management, reduction of behavioral and psychological symptoms, and increased quality of life. The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze music interventions for older adults across the globe to better understand emerging best practices. A review of all studies registered at clinicaltrials.gov and in the WHO Registry Network containing the key words "music" or "music therapy" were included, regardless of intervention type. Of the 850 studies generated, 603 met the eligibility criteria for including older adults. The registries included 73 studies (12%) enrolling only older adults and 530 (88%) enrolling older adults along with other age groups. Thirty-seven percent of clinical trials registered in clinical trials databases are being conducted in Asia. Music interventions for specific medical conditions (n= 398, 66%) or medical procedures (n=170, 28%) were the primary foci in studies. Best practices in music interventions and therapy are being developed world-wide for the multitude of health challenges faced by older adults and demonstrate the diversity of music interventions in both medical and community settings. Information from this review can be used to improve the implementation of music therapy programs. The data from these music interventions and therapies for older adults in clinical trial registries show both the degree of similarity and potential use of music in a variety of clinical settings.
Tara Rose, University of Southern California, United States
Elyse Manzo, University of Southern California, United States
Katherine Erikson, University of Southern California, United States