Evaluation of the Music Engagement Program for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia: Study protocol for a pilot trial

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Background: Alzheimer's disease and dementia are prevalent conditions globally. People with Alzheimer's disease and dementia commonly experience mental health problems, negative emotional states, and behavioural disturbance. Music therapy has previously been used in this population to improve symptoms of mental health problems; however, there is a paucity of evidence-based programs that also explore positive outcomes such as overall quality of life, social outcomes, as well as the acceptability and sustainability of these programs. Aims: This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the specialised Music Engagement Program (MEP) in improving quality of life, wellbeing, and depression symptoms, in aged-care residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The project also aims to explore how the MEP could be applied and maintained on a broader level throughout the aged-care community. Methods: The intervention will take place over 8 weeks in an aged-care facility for people living with dementia in Canberra, Australia. Weekly 45-60-min group singing sessions will be led by a music facilitator. Results: The results of the study will be submitted for publication in relevant academic journals and mental health conferences, disseminated to participants on request, to the residential care facility, and via the lead researcher's website. Conclusions: This study can provide an indication of the feasibility of the MEP in enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Further investigation will be required to establish the MEP's ability to be maintained on an ongoing basis with minimal costs and administrative support. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12618001690246




Gulliver, A., Pike, G., Banfield, M., Morse, A. R., Katruss, N., Pescud, M., … West, S. (2019). Evaluation of the Music Engagement Program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: Study protocol for a pilot trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100419

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