The Influence of Background Music on the Performance of the Mini Mental State Examination with Patients Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether background music had an influence on the scores of patients with Alzheimer’s disease during the Mini Mental State Examination (MMS). Eighteen patients diagnosed with dementia from a day care center participated in the study. Eleven (experimental group) were examined 3 times, each time 1 month apart.

The first examination, called pretest, served as a baseline and was done without background music. The second and third examinations (test and posttest) were done with background music. Seven people (control group) were examined 3 times, each time one-month apart. The three tests (pretest, test, posttest) were done without background music. The Wilcoxon matched-pairs test was used to compare the results within each group. No significant differences were found between the three tests for both groups. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the results between the experimental and control groups. No significant differences were found between these two groups.

This suggests that background music used with persons affected by dementia at this second stage of the disease plays a neutral role during the MMS. Another suggestion is that perhaps people at this stage of the disease do not feel any stress or threat that may have an impact on their concentration during the MMS. Other suggestions are made for possible further research.

Source: J Music Ther 1999;36(3):196-206

PMID: 10519851

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