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Systematic Use of Song and Music in Dementia Care: Health Care Providers’ Experiences

Authors Ekra EMR, Dale B

Received 17 September 2019

Accepted for publication 23 January 2020

Published 11 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 143—151


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Else Mari Ruberg Ekra,1 Bjørg Dale2

1Institute of Health and Nursing Science, University of Agder, Grimstad NO-4898, Norway; 2Centre of Caring Research – Southern Norway, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Grimstad NO-4898, Norway

Correspondence: Else Mari Ruberg Ekra Email [email protected]

Background and Aim: Using song and music in a systematic way in residential dementia care may have several positive impacts on the patients, as well as the care providers. The aim of this study was to explore how health care providers experienced taking responsibility for conducting a song and music program in dementia care in nursing homes.
Methods: An explorative, qualitative study design was used. Focus groups were formed by 17 health care providers from 3 different nursing homes. These providers had experience implementing and using the “Gjenklang” (“reverberation”) song and music program especially developed for people with dementia. Focus group interviews were transcribed verbatim, and systematic text condensation was used for analysing the data.
Results: Three categories with associated subcategories emerged from the analysis process. The categories were 1) the music program increased the staff’s consciousness and awareness; 2) the music program evoked the patients’ emotions and reactions; and 3) maintaining enthusiasm over time.
Conclusion: The general opinion among the participants was that using the song and music program in a systematic and planned way had many benefits and positive impacts on the patients, as well as the staff. However, it was challenging to make it a part of the daily routine. Thus, it is important that the leaders of the units take responsibility to ensure continuity and maintain engagement among the staff over time.

Keywords: dementia, music therapy, music program, qualitative, focus group interviews, nursing homes

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