Can Musical Activities Promote Healthy Ageing?
A-La Park, BSc, BA, MSc*
Personal Social Services Research Unit, LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science Houghton Street, London, UK
- *Corresponding Author:
- E-mail: [email protected]
Background: As most of the baby boomer generation have now reached retirement age, there are increasing demands for long-term care services. Depression and psychological distress can be highly prevalent at advanced ages. Regardless of chronological age, it is important to have a decent quality of life as a human being by improving resilience. The present study aims to briefly look at the current evidence on the effects of musical activities on quality of life in older adults. Methods: A literature review was performed to explore current research evidence on different modalities of musical activities and outcomes among older adults. The search included English-language articles published in PubMed from January 1986 to May 2014. Studies were published in peer-reviewed journals and without country restriction. Supplementary searches were carried out and a â€“ narrative synthesis was conducted. Results: Overall, musical activities such as listening to music, singing, and playing instruments can contribute to improving some aspects of quality of life in older people by increasing psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction, social health and decreasing anxiety and depression. Conclusion: There is a great potential for using musical activities as part of a cost-effective strategy to promote the well-being of healthy community-dwelling older people, as well as institutionalised older adults with dementia. Therefore, wider groups of older people with varying degrees of physical and mental capacities can be reached through more personalised musical activities. More studies using mixed methods are needed to confirm the economic benefits as well as to capture the richness of other dimensions for quality of life.