A Pilot Study on the Effects of Music Therapy on Frontotemporal Dementia—Developing a Research Protocol


Nordic Journal of Music Therapy




Some forms of dementia particularly affect the frontal parts of the brain which, in some cases, causes the onset of severe behavioral and psychological symptoms. No specific treatment for the primary diseases that cause these frontotemporal dementia conditions has yet been developed, and pharmacological treatment of the psychiatric symptoms is difficult, requiring specialist proficiency in the field. As there is not yet sufficient research that examines the effects of non pharmacologic treatment with this group, there is a need to develop valid and reliable research protocols. Music therapy was investigated as an example of a non-pharmacologic treatment procedure. A pilot study was carried out with the focus to develop a research protocol for a future larger population study. In two case studies a combination of data collection methods were examined with the overall goal to document changes in intersubjectivity. In this pilot study there was a specific interest in selecting a relevant and manageable dementia specific instrument for measuring quality of life and relating it with other instruments. The following three instruments were tested: the Alzheimer's Disease-Related Quality of Life (ADRQL), the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), and the Neuro-psychiatric Inventory (NPI), and were related to case descriptions and video analyses. Recommendations for a mixed method research protocol focused on measuring the effect of music therapy with persons with frontotemporal dementia are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Elderly; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life

Indexed Terms

frontotemporal dementia; Dementia

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type