Humming as a Potential Tool for Facilitating Feeding Situations Between Persons With Dementia and Their Caregiver: A Single Case Study


  • Gabriella Engström PhD, RNT
  • Lena Marmstål Hammar PhD, RN



Persons with dementia (PWDs) have a major cognitive decline in the ability to meet universal self-care needs, including self- feeding and maintaining a sufficient intake of fluids and food. The aim was to describe whether caregivers’ humming during lunch situations affected eating and feeding problems in PWDs. An experimental single-case design was used, involving video observa- tion. At baseline, PWDs were fed by their caregivers in the usual way and at intervention the PWDs were fed while a caregiver hummed. Analysis using the Edinburgh Feeding Evaluation (EdFED) showed that for Mrs Smith, the EdFED score decreased from a mean score of 14 at baseline to a mean score of 8.5 during the intervention. Mrs Green experienced a decrease in mean score from 12 at baseline to 8.5 during the intervention. This pilot study suggests that humming during lunch situations might enhance eating and feeding abilities for PWD and should be further studied.

Author Biographies

Gabriella Engström, PhD, RNT

Gabriella Engström, PhD, RNT, is from the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare at Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Engström’s major research interests are incontinence and care of older people with a focus on dementia.

Lena Marmstål Hammar, PhD, RN

Lena Marmstål Hammar, PhD, RN, is from the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare at Mälardalen University in Västera ̊ s, Sweden. Hammar’s major interests are alternative treatments for persons with dementia.




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