MIDDEL (Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in ELderly care) is a multinational pragmatic cluster-randomised trial designed to determine the effectiveness of two music interventions (group music therapy and recreational choir singing) for reducing depression symptoms in people living with dementia, and to examine mechanisms and heterogeneity of treatment effects. The study is funded through the JPND scheme (Joint Programs for Neurodegenerative Disease) with funding for the Australian component provided by the NH&MRC.

The MIDDEL study is the largest trial of music interventions in dementia care to date, and the first to compare two different music interventions (separately and in combination) across countries. Study sites are located in Australia and in five European countries, with a total of 100 care home units to be randomised to one of the four study conditions. In addition to the primary outcome of depression symptoms, MIDDEL examines cognitive functioning, neuropsychiatric symptoms, quality of life, medication use, caregiver burden and costs at 3, 6 and 12 months.

Visit the official MIDDEL website.


Baker, F.A., Tamplin, J., Clark, I., Lee, Y.C., Geretsegger, M. & Gold, C. (2019). Treatment fidelity in a music therapy multi-site cluster randomized control trial for people living with dementia: The MIDDEL project intervention fidelity protocol. Journal of Music Therapy. doi: 10.1093/jmt/thy023

Gold, C., Eickholt, J., Assmus, J., Stige, B. Wake, J.D., Baker, F.A., Tamplin, J., Clark, I., Lee, Y.C., Jacobsen, S.L., Ridder, H.M.O., Kreutz, G., Muthesius, D., Wosch, T., Ceccato, E., Raglio, A., Ruggeri, M., Vink, A. Zuidema, S., Odell-Miller, H., Orrell, M., Schneider, J., Kubiak, C., Romeo, R. & Geretsegger, M. (2019). Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in ELderly care (MIDDEL): Protocol and statistical analysis plan for a multinational cluster-randomised trial. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023436

Media Stories


Dr Felicity Baker speaks about MIDDEL on the aged care insight podcast

MIDDEL featured in The Senior