Music as therapeutic intervention can relieve anxiety and depression in older people

Using music and singing in health care can improve quality of life for older people by easing pain, anxiety and depression.

According to an article published in Mental Health Practice, the practices can be easily and effectively used as therapeutic nursing interventions.

A literature review of articles related to anxiety and the use of music as a therapy for people over the age of 65 found it has a positive influence on wellbeing by providing enjoyment, social interaction, improved memory and social inclusion.

It also reduces anxiety and confusion in people with dementia, improving their quality of life, and is beneficial psychologically and physiologically when used in clinical settings.

The author of the review states it is easy to incorporate music and singing into nursing practice, as they are widely available, inexpensive and non-controversial, with minimal ethical, legal or cultural concerns.

She concludes: ‘Listening to music and/or singing represent a safe, evidence-based nursing intervention, and staff should be encouraged to study and use it.’

Further research into the use of music and similar group activities for other client groups, diagnoses and conditions, as well as the duration of positive effects, should also be conducted, she adds.