Shibazaki, Kagari and Marshall, Nigel A. (2017) Exploring the impact of music concerts in promoting well-being in dementia care. Aging & Mental Health, 21 (5). pp. 468-476. ISSN 1360-7863

Objectives: This study explores the specific effects of live music concerts on the clients with dementia,their families and nursing staff/caregivers.
Methods: Researchers attended 22 concerts in care facilities in England and Japan. Interviews were
carried out with clients with dementia, nursing staff and family members. Observations were also
carried out before, during and after the concerts. All observations were recorded in field notes.
Results: The effect of the concerts in both countries was seen to be beneficial to all clients and nursing staff, whether or not they attended the concert. Interviews with clients with mild to mid-stage dementia noted increased levels of cooperation, interaction and conversation. Those with more advanced forms of dementia exhibited decreased levels of agitation and anti-social behaviour. Staff members reported increased levels of care, cooperation and opportunities for assessment. Family members noted an increase in the levels of well-being in their partner/parent as well as in themselves.
The study also suggested that the knowledge of musical components, an awareness of the rules of
music and specific musical preferences appear to remain well beyond the time when other cognitive
skills and abilities have disappeared.
Conclusions: This initial study provided some further indication in terms of the uses of music as a nonpharmacological intervention for those living with all stages of dementia. These included
opportunities for assessment of physical abilities as well as facilitating an increasing level of care.

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