Dual-Task-Based Music Therapy to Improve Executive Functioning of Elderly Patients with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease: A Multiple Case Study

Soo Ji Kim, Jin Kyoung Park, Myung Sun Yeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deficits in executive functioning are a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and result from impairment in the central executive system. As a result, elderly patients with early stage AD may require interventions that are more cognitively intense than traditional interventions. To address this need, in this multiple case study, we explored a dual-task-based music therapy intervention that involved drum playing and singing designed to induce attentional and motor controls. Three octogenarians diagnosed with early stage AD participated in 12 dual-task-based music therapy sessions over 6 weeks. Measures of executive functioning and the performance of a bimanual drum tapping task were evaluated before and after the intervention. Improvements in executive functioning were observed for participants A and C. After the intervention, reduced mean synchronization errors were found for the simultaneous tapping condition for all three participants. Although there was variability in the functional changes between participants, it is noteworthy that positive improvements in the elderly patients with early stage AD were obtained following dual-task-based music therapy. The results suggest that music therapy integrated into the dual-task paradigm can be an effective way to address degenerative cognitive deficits among elderly patients with early stage AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11940
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Government (2019S1A5A2A01051170).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • drum playing
  • dual-task
  • early stage Alzheimer’s disease
  • executive functioning
  • music therapy

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