Evaluating the Use of Music-assisted Caregiving Interventions by Certified Nursing Assistants Caring for Nursing Home Residents With Hiv-associated Neurocognitive Disorders and Depressive Symptoms: A Mixed-methods Study

Kendra Ray
Girija Kaimal
Ayelet Dassa
Jaime Slaughter-Acey
Mary Mittelman


In recent years, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) have become more common as people with HIV live longer due to advances in anti-retroviral medications. The symptoms of HAND are often associated with mild-to-severe cognitive impairment and depression, which may lead to burden and burnout among the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) of individuals with HAND. Music-based interventions provided by paid caregivers have been shown to have positive effects for people with cognitive impairments, depression, and HIV. However, little is known about the benefits of music-based interventions for people with HAND and depression. In this concurrent nested, mixed-methods experiment, 12 nursing home residents with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and depression participated in 4 weeks of music-assisted caregiving with 5 CNAs. The music-assisted caregiving intervention significantly decreased depressive symptoms among the residents and personal achievement improved among the CNAs. This study supports the effectiveness of the music-assisted caregiving intervention in reducing depressive symptoms among nursing home residents with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and provides directions for research to explore interdisciplinary approaches for people with HIV and related cognitive disorders further.