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Effect of music on depression levels and physiological responses in community-based older adults

Authors


  • Moon Fai Chan, PhD, CStat.

  • Engle Angela Chan, PhD, RN.

  • Esther Mok, PhD, RN.

  • Fionca Yuk Kwan Tse, MSc, RN.

Moon Fai Chan, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore, Block E3A, Level 3, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574. Email: nurcmf@nus.edu.sg

ABSTRACT

Many people over the age of 65 do not regard depression as a treatable mental disorder and find it difficult to express themselves verbally. Listening to music can facilitate the non-verbal expression of emotion and allow people's inner feelings to be expressed without being threatened. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of music on depression levels in elderly people. A randomized controlled study was conducted with 47 elderly people (23 using music and 24 controls) who completed the study after being recruited in Hong Kong. Blood pressure, heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and depression level variables were collected. In the music group, there were statistically-significant decreases in depression scores (P < 0.001) and blood pressure (P = 0.001), HR (P < 0.001), and RR (P < 0.001) after 1 month. The implication is that nurses may utilize music as an effective nursing intervention for patients with depressive symptoms in the community setting.

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