Music Therapy for Dementia Patients: Tuned for Culture Difference

Music Therapy for Dementia Patients: Tuned for Culture Difference

Yuki Tanaka (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan), Hiroki Nogawa (Japan Medical Information Network Association, Japan) and Hiroshi Tanaka (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-559-9.ch033
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Our results show that dementia patients tend to judge Japanese music as being played in a major key, while healthy subjects judged these songs as being in a minor key. Our results reveal characteristic responses of dementia patients to the Japanese music and provide evidence for the improvement of using music therapy for dementia patients by accounting for their Japanese culture.
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A. Research Theme

In this chapter, we discuss two research themes. The first theme is feasibility of music therapy for the precise and appropriate brain rehabilitation of dementia patients. The second theme is measurement of the objective and quantitative effectiveness of music therapy.

These studies are elementary steps toward the goal of our research is to quantify the response of the person when human hear music (see Figure 1), we use music as the input data and human responses as the output data.

Figure 1.

Research aims: The major goal of this work is to objectively quantify both the musical input and the physiological output in response to music therapy


B. Background

In recent years, the elderly portion of the population has increased significantly, leading to a related increase in the number of patients with dementia (Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2008; United Nations, 2004). This is the reason why prevention, effective rehabilitation and treatment/therapy for dementia are most required in super-aging society. While each of these aspects is equally important, this work focuses on the rehabilitation and treatment/therapy aspects of dementia.

One current method of rehabilitation and treatment/therapy for dementia is music therapy, which has some serious limitations (see Table 1) (Bando, 2008). Because, (1) The clinical response of the music therapy is thing which only persons who is in the settings realizes, (2) Music therapy is like trial and error, and (3) Music therapy doesn't have objective proof. This situation caused us to believe effectiveness of music therapy is to be proved. And we think music therapy is to be modified to each culture in which the patients live.

Table 1.
The problems of Japanese music therapy
JapanSample of other country (USA and UK)
License (Qualification)NonNon
System to promote the use and development of music therapyNonNCCAM in United States
RCCM at United Kingdom
Insurance scoresNonMusic therapy can take insurance scores with condition in USA

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