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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2017 June;53(3):466-82

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04429-4

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effectiveness of music-based interventions on motricity or cognitive functioning in neurological populations: a systematic review

Lousin MOUMDJIAN 1, 2 , Teppo SARKAMO 3, Carmela LEONE 1, Marc LEMAN 2, Peter FEYS 1

1 REVAL-BIOMED, University of Hasselt, Diepenbeek, Belgium; 2 IPEM, Gent University, Gent, Belgium; 3 Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland


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BACKGROUND: Motor and cognitive symptoms are frequent in persons with neurological disorders and often require extensive long-term rehabilitation. Recently, a variety of music-based interventions have been introduced into neurological rehabilitation as training tools.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This review aims to 1) describe and define music-based intervention modalities and content which are applied in experimental studies; and 2) describe the effects of these interventions on motor and/or cognitive symptoms in the neurological population. The databases PubMed and Web of Science were searched. Cited references of included articles where screened for potential inclusion. A systematic literature search up to 20th of June 2016 was conducted to include controlled trials and cohort studies that have used music-based interventions for ≥3 weeks in the neurological population (in- and outpatients) targeting motor and/or cognitive symptoms. No limitations to publication date was set.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Nineteen articles comprising thirteen randomized controlled trials (total participants Nexp=241, Nctrl=269), four controlled trials (Nexp=59, Nctrl=53) and two cohort studies (N.=27) were included. Fourteen studies were conducted in stroke, three in Parkinson’s disease, and two in multiple sclerosis population. Modalities of music-based interventions were clustered into four groups: instrument-based, listening-based, rhythm-based, and multicomponent-based music interventions. Overall, studies consistently showed that music-based interventions had similar or larger effects than conventional rehabilitation on upper limb function (N.=16; fine motricity, hand and arm capacity, finger and hand tapping velocity/variability), mobility (N.=7; gait parameters), and cognition (N.=4; verbal memory and focused attention).
CONCLUSIONS: Variety of modalities using music-based interventions has been identified and grouped into four clusters. Effects of interventions demonstrate an improvement in the domains assessed. Evidence is most available for improving motricity in stroke. More studies are warranted to investigate cognition as well as motor and cognition dysfunctions in combination. Instrument-based music interventions can improve fine motor dexterity and gross motor functions in stroke. Rhythm-based music interventions can improve gait parameters of velocity and cadence in stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Cognition in the domains of verbal memory and focused attention can improve after listening-based music interventions in stroke.


KEY WORDS: Music - Nervous system diseases - Cognitive dysfunction

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Publication History

Issue published online: June 15, 2017
Article first published online: November 23, 2016
Manuscript accepted: November 22, 2016
Manuscript revised: November 16, 2016
Manuscript received: July 24, 2016

Cite this article as

Moumdjian L, Sarkamo T, Leone C, Leman M, Feys P. Effectiveness of music-based interventions on motricity or cognitive functioning in neurological populations: a systematic review. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017;53:466-82 DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04429-4

Corresponding author e-mail

lousin.moumdjian@uhasselt.be