Bergen Research Group for Innovation, Growth, Health and Technology (BRIGHT)
Research project


Tailored music therapy for home-dwelling people living with dementia.

The project Tailored music therapy for dementia investigates whether tailored music therapy for home-dwelling persons with dementia can improve positive feelings and social communication
Louise Bjerrum

Main content

The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of individually tailored music therapy for home-dwelling people living with dementia, including close caregivers as collateral therapists. It is commonly found in relevant research that music involves strong responses in brain networks as well as emotional and social effects, meaning that music can amplify our emotions and social interactions.

Individually tailored and personalized music interventions may trigger positive emotions, and familiar music may elicit and maintain pleasant memories, a sense of identity, and social activity in the individual living with dementia. The primary focus of this project is to illuminate the potential effect on individual well-being, as well as sociable behavior towards her or his significant others. 

A professional music therapist visits the participant’s home over 10 weeks and the participant and her/his caregiver are expected to practice between the weekly visits by the professional therapist. The intervention follows a manual of resource-oriented principles for music therapy. Individualized music therapy implies that the music therapist guides the dyad in identifying relevant music to be used both during the professionally led sessions, as well as during the second weekly sessions led by the collateral therapists. 

Each first, fifth and tenth music therapist led sessions are video recorded according to central outcome measures on well-being and sociable interaction, using the software Noldus Observer XT 12.5 ©.  

Data analyses are performed by using single-case design. 

The study is pre-registered at (www.clinicaltrials.gov, ID: NCT03011723), and approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics in Norway (2016/1374). 

Results from the study are now available and can be found here