Study Protocol: Individualized Music for People With Dementia - Improvement of Quality of Life and Social Participation for People With Dementia in Institutional Care


BMC Geriatrics




BACKGROUND: People with dementia (PwD) experience a range of negative behavioral and psychological symptoms which can lower their quality of life. Because of the increasing prevalence of dementia, interventions that maintain and enhance the quality of life for PwD are needed. Listening to individualized music constitutes a promising non-pharmacological intervention for PwD. However, despite some preliminary results, evidence regarding the effectiveness of such interventions has been mixed and previous studies have shown a number of methodological limitations. In a randomized controlled trial, we address the limitations of previous research and assess the feasibility, efficacy, and acceptability of an individualized music intervention for PwD living in a nursing home. METHODS: Residents with dementia from four to five nursing homes in Germany will be randomly assigned to either an intervention or control group. The intervention group will listen to personally-relevant music for 20?min every other day for six weeks. Nursing staff will assess participants' quality of life and problem behavior at the six-week baseline, pretest, posttest, and at the six-week follow-up. Additionally, the participants' behavior will be observed during the intervention period by project staff. The implementation, acceptance, and applicability of the intervention will also be evaluated. DISCUSSION: The study results will show whether an individualized music intervention can improve the quality of life for PwD living in a nursing home. Additionally, it will provide valuable insight into the acceptability and implementation of an individualized music intervention in the institutional care setting. If the individualized music intervention proves to be effective and widely applicable, it could be implemented on a large scale in institutional care as an easy-to-administer intervention. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00013793 ; ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN59052178 , date applied 27 February 2018, date assigned 4 April 2018, retrospectively registered.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Elderly; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Nursing Home; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life; Recorded Music Listening; Symptom Management; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Dementia; Germany; Nursing Homes; Quality of Life; Social Participation; Alzheimer’s disease; Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia; Dementia; Individualized music; Institutional care; Long-term care; Non-pharmacological intervention; Problem behavior; Quality of life; Receptive music therapy; Counseling and Clinical Intervention, Institute of Psychology, Friedrich Schiller; University Jena. GW is a professor of Counseling and Clinical Intervention at the; Department of Psychology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena. ETHICS APPROVAL AND; CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE: Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of; the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences of the Friedrich Schiller University; Jena, Germany (committee’s reference number: FSV 18; authorized representative will receive information leaflets and give written; informed consent. Approval for the informed consent materials was received by the; ethics committee. CONSENT FOR PUBLICATION: Not applicable. COMPETING INTERESTS: The; authors declare that they have no competing interests. PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Springer; Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and; institutional affiliations.

Study Type

Quantitative Methods; Randomized Controlled Trial

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