An exploration of individualized music on levels of agitation in people with dementia in a specialist mental health setting

: a mixed method approach

  • Helen Skinner

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the effect of individualised music on levels of agitation for people with moderate to severe dementia being cared for in a specialist mental health hospital setting; additionally the experiences of family carers and healthcare professionals were explored.

Background: The therapeutic use of music in healthcare has significantly grown in popularity. Recently there has been an increase in the use of individualised music in the care of people with dementia to reduce levels of agitation. No studies have explored the use of individualised music in specialist mental health hospital settings for people with moderate to severe dementia.

Design: The design of the research study utilised a mixed methods approach. A single case experimental reversal design was employed to explore the effect of individualised music on levels of agitation in people
with dementia. The other elements of the study used a qualitative approach to explore the experience of using individualised music from the perspective of healthcare professionals and family carers.

Methods: Five participants with moderate to severe dementia were recruited. During intervention weeks the individualised music was administered daily. Agitation levels were measured daily using the Agitated Behaviour Scale and weekly using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory. Five healthcare professionals and four family carers were interviewed.

Results: There was a mixed response in the therapeutic value of the individualised music. Some participants displayed a positive behavioural reaction to the music in terms of agitation levels, engagement and
enjoyment of the music. However this was not consistent across the repeated administrations of the intervention and across all participants. Healthcare professional and family carer interviews provided positive
feedback on the use of individualised music.

Conclusions: Individualised music was found to have a mixed response in relation to reducing levels of agitation in people with dementia. The intervention was found to be feasible and practical to administer. Individualised music was highly regarded by both healthcare professionals and family carers as a valuable intervention to use in the specialist mental health hospital setting. It provided a therapeutic approach to care that helped to reduce agitation and ultimately improved the quality of life for people with dementia in hospital
Date of AwardMar 2018
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorSuzanne Croy (Supervisor) & Geoffrey L. Dickens (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Agitation
  • individualised music

Cite this

An exploration of individualized music on levels of agitation in people with dementia in a specialist mental health setting: a mixed method approach
Skinner, H. (Author). Mar 2018

Student thesis: Master's Thesis