The Role of Music Therapy in Treating Older Adults in Long-Term Care with Depression: A Pilot Study

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Yu, Mu-Hua
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
This study investigates the role of a chosen music therapy treatment protocol—free play on a drum followed by preferred-music listening—in treating depression among older adults who reside in long-term care facilities. A quantitative design was used to evaluate the participants’ scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale before and after delivery of the treatment protocol. Four participants, three males and one female, participated in this study. Results show that the chosen music therapy protocol appears appropriate for older adults with depression in long-term care. Participants were also asked to state their favorite, second favorite, and third favorite musical styles in the Personal Music Preference Assessment at the beginning of the study. Additional information regarding the participants’ physical reactions and verbal inputs were obtained through the use of a notepad but were not included in analysis. The limitations of this study are discussed and suggestions for potential future research are presented.