Music-based interventions with informal caregivers of adult care recipients: An integrative review


  • Lindsey Wilhelm Assistant Professor of Music Therapy Colorado State University
  • Kyle Wilhelm Adjunct Instructor of Music Therapy Colorado State University



Music therapists work with individuals with a wide variety of diagnoses, but minimal attention has been paid to informal caregivers caring for adults with these diagnoses.  While some evidence for the use of music-based interventions (MBIs) has been presented in primary sources, a synthesis of current literature is needed to inform evidence-based practice.  The purpose of this study was to identify what MBIs have been used with informal caregivers, the effects of these interventions, whether the interventions adequately fulfill the personal needs of caregivers as identified in previous literature, and the quality of MBI reporting.  Ten studies met the predetermined criteria.  Singing and music listening were the most frequently used interventions.  Benefits for caregivers include self- and relationship-focused outcomes.  The type of benefit (self- or relationship-focused) appears to be related to the participant unit of delivery of the MBI. Future research is necessary to replicate the outcomes of MBIs for informal caregivers reported in this review, and there is a need for increased transparency in reporting.

Keywords: family caregivers, informal caregivers, music, music-based intervention

Author Biographies

Lindsey Wilhelm, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy Colorado State University

Lindsey Wilhelm, PhD, MT-BC has been an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University since 2016. 

Kyle Wilhelm, Adjunct Instructor of Music Therapy Colorado State University

Kyle Wilhelm, MA, MT-BC has been an Adjunct Instructor at Colorado State University since 2017. 


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