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Music Can Affect Depression

Purpose of the Study

The study sought to “determine the effect of music therapy on depression and physiological parameters in elderly people who were living in a nursing home” (Gök Ugur et al., 2017, p. 1280). Music therapy has been shown to have positive effects among people, and thus the aim was to assess the validity of such claims using elderly people living in a nursing home as the study group.

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Research & Design

The research design used in this study is a randomized controlled, single-blind trial. This means that the participants were assigned to the two different study groups randomly, and they were blinded to the intervention method used. The single-blind aspect implies that while the participants were blinded, the assessors were not. This study design supports the purpose of the study by allowing the researchers to meet their objectives without facing the problem of biased views from the participants.


All elderly people (105 individuals) living in a nursing home in Turkey were selected for this study. However, only 64 met the inclusion criteria, which required all eligible participants to be in a position to communicate, cooperate, and given consent to take part in the study. Those with impaired hearing and sight were excluded from the study. Sample size calculation was not carried out because all the elderly people living in the identified nursing home were initially selected to participate in the study.

Data Collection

The data collected in this study included depression scores among the participants. The researchers used the geriatric depression scale (GDS) to measure such scores at the beginning of the study. The participants were divided into two groups, each having 32 individuals to be used as an intervention group and control group. Those in the intervention group listened to music for three days a week for eight weeks and their post-test depression scores were recorded.

Data Analysis

The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Chicago, IL) for Windows, version 21.0, was used to analyze the collected data. Using this method, the initial data were compared to determine the success of randomization using t-test and chi-square. The changes in depression scores were then compared at the end of the study period using a paired sample t-test. One of the aspects that I know about this method of data analysis is that when p < 0.05, then the results are said to be statistically significant.


One limitation reported in this study was the use of a small sample size of 64 participants taken from a single nursing home in Turkey. The results derived from such a small sample size cannot be extrapolated and generalized in other setups.


One finding reported in this study is that music therapy reduces depression among elderly people. When the data were analyzed, it was found the intervention group had reduced levels of depression scores as opposed to those in the control group. A major interesting detail learned from reading this study is that music therapy also helps in lowering hypertension among elderly people.

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Reading Research Literature

The importance of reading and understanding research literature is that it helps the reader to understand the various aspects of a scientific study. From this activity, I learned how the said study was conducted and data analyzed to assess the effect of music therapy on elderly people.


Gök Ugur, H., Yaman Aktas, Y., Orak, O., Saglambilen, O., & Aydin Avci, I. (2017). The effect of music therapy on depression and physiological parameters in elderly people living in a Turkish nursing home: A randomized control trial. Aging & Mental Health, 21(12), 1280-1286. Web.

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