The Impact of Singing in Caring for a Person With Dementia: Single Case Analysis of Video Recorded Sessions

Gabriella Engström
Lena Marmstål Hammar
Christine Williams
Eva Götell


Music Therapeutic Caregiving (MTC), when a caregiver sings for or together with a resident with dementia, has been used to enhance communication between caregivers and residents. This single case study measured communication in a resident with dementia during 'usual' and MTC morning care. Video observations of 8 weekly sessions, consisting of 4 recordings of usual morning care and 4 recordings of morning care with MTC intervention provided the data. The Verbal and Nonverbal Interaction scale was used for analysis. Under the MTC condition, the resident’s positive verbal and nonverbal communication increased by 23%. Furthermore, negative verbal and nonverbal communication, decreased by 80%, compared to the 'usual' morning care sessions. Under the MTC condition, the resident was able to remember words to songs and singing with the caregiver occurred in 39 of the 40 observed minutes. The findings indicate that MTC could be an effective nursing intervention in dementia care. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)