Using music interventions in the care of people with dementia
evidence and practice    

Using music interventions in the care of people with dementia

Ann Skingley Principal Research Fellow, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England
Joy McCue Dementia Specialist Lead Nurse, East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, Ashford, England
Trish Vella-Burrows Principal Research Fellow, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the therapeutic properties of music

  • To understand the benefits of music for people with dementia

  • To familiarise yourself with music interventions that can be used in the care of people with dementia

The therapeutic properties of music have been recognised since antiquity. In recent years, there has been a growing evidence base to support claims about the benefits of music for individuals with various health conditions, including dementia. It has been reported that music interventions can lead to improvements in cognition, behaviour and psychosocial well-being in people with dementia, as well as improving the experience of carers. Therefore, it is suggested that nurses should consider harnessing music’s potential by incorporating it into the care they provide. This article explores the evidence base for the use of music in dementia care and outlines its potential benefits. It also details the range of music interventions, modes of delivery, and considerations for practice and research.

Nursing Standard. 35, 6, 55-60. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11560

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

ann.skingley@canterbury.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Skingley A, McCue J, Vella-Burrows T (2020) Using music interventions in the care of people with dementia. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11560

Published online: 19 May 2020

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