Principle Investigator:

Overall: Gunter Kreutz

Assessments: Antje Timmer

Responsible employees:

Team Assessment:

Johanna Neuser, email:

Angelika Hensel

Sandra Heitmann, email:  

Team Intervention:

Ulrike Frischen, email:  

Current status:

We are currently at the recruitment stage. If you are interested to join the MIDDEL project, please contact us.


MIDDEL (Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in Elderly Care)


The purpose of the study is to determine the efficacy of group music therapy and choral singing compared to standard treatment in nursing home residents with dementia and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, interaction effects will be investigated in older people with different dementia severity levels, socioeconomic status, and gender. This is a multinational cluster-randomized controlled trial in which different units of participating nursing homes are randomly assigned to the two music interventions, individually or in combination, or to standard treatment. The interventions last 6 months and are implemented by experienced music therapists. The primary outcome is the change in depressive symptoms.


Dementia and depression are common and comorbid conditions in older people and are associated with individual distress, significant caregiver burden, and high societal costs. Music interventions represent promising nonpharmacological treatments for dementia and depression in older adults and are already widely used. However, large and accurate studies examining these interventions are lacking. To date, MIDDEL is the largest study reviewing music interventions and is taking place in Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany. The results of the study may help changing the way dementia patients are treated, improving quality of life and reducing the burden on caregivers and family members.

(Changed: 19 Dec 2022)  |