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Evaluation of communication behavior in persons with dementia during caregivers’ singing

Author(s): Gabriella Engström | Lena Marmstål | Christine Williams | Eva Götell

Journal: Nursing Reports
ISSN 2039-439X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e4;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: music therapeutic care | dementia | intervention | verbal and nonverbal communication.

The number of persons with dementia (PWD) is increasing rapidly worldwide. Cognitive impairments and communication difficulties are common among PWD. Therefore, gaining mutual togetherness in caring relation between PWD and their caregivers is important. This study was to investigate the effects of music therapeutic care (MTC) during morning care situations on improving verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors in people with dementia. An observation study with 10 PWD participating. Videotaped interactions (VIO) between PWD and their caregivers were conducted during eight weekly sessions, four recordings consisted of usual morning care and four recordings were of morning care with MTC intervention. The Verbal and Nonverbal Interaction Scale was used to analyze the recorded interactions at a later time. The unsociable verbal variable Cursing decreased significantly (P=.037) during MTC when compared with the baseline measurement. A significant (P=.000) reduction was observed for the unsociable nonverbal variable Does not respond to question. MTC significantly (P=.01) increased the mean score for the sociable nonverbal variable – Calm – relaxed. For sociable verbal communication, significant differences were observed for the variables Use coherent communication (P=.012), Use relevant communication (P=.009), Responds to questions (P=.000), Humming (P=.004), Singing (P=.000). MTC during morning care situations can be an effective non-pharmacological treatment, as well as nursing intervention in order to improve sociable communication behaviors, as well as reduce unsociable communication behaviors of PWDs.
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