The effects of the music-with-movement intervention on the cognitive functions of people with moderate dementia: A randomized controlled trial

Sze Ki Cheung, Claudia Kam Yuk Lai, Kam Yuet Wong, Mason Chin Pang Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the six-week music-with-movement (MM) intervention, as compared with music listening (ML) and social activity (SA), on the cognitive functions of people with moderate dementia over time. Methods: A multi-center randomized controlled trial was conducted on 165 nursing home residents with moderate dementia. The MM intervention protocol was developed based on a critical literature review, and tested in three rounds of pilot studies before undergoing testing in this study. The participants were randomly allocated into three groups. Intervention participants (n = 58) received a 12-week MM program led by a trained health care professional, while the participants in the comparison ML group (n = 54) listened to their preferred music, and those in the SA group (n = 53) engaged in social chatting. Cognitive functions, depressive symptoms, and anxiety were measured at baseline, the sixth week, and six weeks post-intervention. Results: Greater improvements in memory and depressive symptoms for the MM group were revealed in the univariate analysis and pairwise comparisons. The effects on memory could last for at least six weeks post-intervention. However, a mixed multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) analysis indicated that there were no significant interactions of group by time effect Conclusion: The findings revealed that the MM intervention may be useful for enhancing the cognitive functions of people with dementia. However, there is insufficient evidence to show that the effects of the MM intervention on outcome variables over time significantly different from those observed among the comparison groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-315
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Cognitive functioning
  • Dementia and cognitive disorders
  • Music and art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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