Combining Music and Life Story to Enhance Participation in Family Interaction in Semantic Dementia: A Longitudinal Study of One Family’s Experience


Arts & Health




Background: Semantic dementia is a rarer dementia, classified as a type of frontotemporal dementia and a variant of primary progressive aphasia. Studies examining conversation in this condition and interventions to enhance participation in family life present as gaps in the research literature. Methods: Working with one family on a longitudinal basis, this study used conversation analysis and narrative analysis to provide a detailed assessment of communication. This information was used to design an individually tailored life story intervention to facilitate family interaction: a co-produced life story music DVD. Results: This intervention offered the family a resource that allowed the person with semantic dementia to display areas of retained competence and enhanced participation in interaction in a way that was not typically present in everyday conversation. Conclusions: It is argued that fostering greater opportunities for such in-the-moment connections is an important goal for intervention, particularly when language may be significantly compromised. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Engagement Level; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Neurodegenerative Disorders

Indexed Terms

semantic dementia; life story; interaction; intervention; Dementia; Social Interaction; Life Span

Study Type

Phenomenological Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type