Playlist for Life is based upon the Gerdner Protocol developed at Stanford University which provides an evidence-based guideline for finding and using personal music. It predicts the following results based upon two decades of research:

  • Reduced agitation and disruptive behaviours
  • Reduced combativeness
  • Reduced use psychotropic drugs
  • Reduced use of physical restraints
  • Reduced wandering

It also anticipates potential improvements in quality of life including emotional health and wellbeing, communication and improved relationships with carers but recognises further research is required to prove it.

These results have all been borne out in a number of small-scale studies in the UK on Playlist for Life (Nottingham University Hospital, Forth Valley NHS, Grampian NHS, Glasgow Caledonian University).

Researchers have noted the potential for music to ease dementia symptoms such as anxiety and agitation, reducing the need for medication. Even the smallest improvements may delay or potentially remove the need for someone with dementia to go into institutional care. 

Playlist for Life encourages further investigation into the incredible effect that personally meaningful music has on people with dementia.

From our earliest days Glasgow Caledonian University has provided us with invaluable practical and academic support. We continue to develop our relationships with other universities and are excited to be involved in a growing number of PhDs and researcher relationships across the UK.

Download research document

Read Playlist for Life's summary of the research and Bibliography 

Research document 2

Read Nottingham University Hospitals' evaluation 

Research document 3

Read NHS Forth Valley Playlist for Life Project Report 2015