Cohort study: Listening to music can reduce risk of falls among the elderly
09/27/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

Researchers at McGill University and the University of Montreal in Canada looked at the influence of music listening on the risk of falls in older people.  The team published their findings in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • For the study, the researchers looked at 152 participants who were admitted to a geriatric assessment unit in St. Mary’s Hospital Center in Montreal, Canada.
  • Only 61 participants attended music listening sessions while the remaining 91 participants did not attend music sessions.
  • To measure the effect of music listening on the participants’ risk of falls, the researchers compared the Morse Fall Scale score upon admission and discharge as well as its variation between both groups.
  • The researchers also noted the participants’ age, sex, living situation, the reason for admission, the season of admission, Mini-Mental Status Examination score, number of therapeutic classes taken daily upon admission, use of psychoactive drugs upon admission, and length of stay.
  • The results of the Morse Fall Scale score significantly decreased in the patients exposed to music compared with the non-exposed group.
  • This finding suggested that participating in music listening sessions was linked to a reduced risk of falls in older people, particularly those admitted to a geriatric assessment unit.
  • The researchers explained that this may be due to the mood-enhancing effect of music, such as reducing depressive symptoms which have been linked to a higher risk of falls.
  • Because patients had to walk to participate in the music listening sessions, this physical activity combined with music listening may have positively contributed to the reduction in the risk of falls.

Taken together, the findings of the study suggested that participating in music listening sessions may help reduce the risk of falls in patients admitted to a geriatric assessment unit.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Older people are at a greater risk of falls. Read more on how to prevent falls at

Journal Reference:

Chabot J, Beauchet O, Fung S, Peretz I. DECREASED RISK OF FALLS IN PATIENTS ATTENDING MUSIC SESSIONS ON AN ACUTE GERIATRIC WARD: RESULTS FROM A RETROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 28 March 2019; 19 (1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2484-x

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