Delivering a Music Intervention in a Randomized Controlled Trial Involving Older People With Dementia: Musician Experiences and Reflections

Scott Harrison, Marie Cooke, Wendy Moyle, David Shum, Jenny Murfield

Abstract


A qualitative thematic approach was used to explore musicians’ views and experiences of delivering a music intervention and its efficacy for people with dementia in long-term care. Two musicians who delivered the intervention in a randomized controlled trial were inter- viewed using a semistructured schedule. The data were sorted, categorized, and thematically analyzed. Two themes emerged: design of the protocol and efficacy of the program. Musicians felt that the intervention was appropriately designed, particularly in terms of repertoire selection, session length, incorporation of live and prerecorded music, and use of 2 musicians. They reported seeing improvements in mood, memory, general well-being, and quality of life for persons with dementia, both during and after the session. The findings support a music protocol structure that can be used for randomized controlled trials. They also highlight how standardized assessment tools used in randomized controlled trials can be complemented with qualitative, reflective evidence.


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by The International Association for Music & Medicine