Methods: The study analyzed 153 participants from 16 Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing facilities located in Virginia. Each participating nursing facility provided us with a list of eligible residents with a dementia diagnosis and whose Brief Interview for Mental Status score indicated an advanced level of dementia (i.e., 0-7 or 99). Ten residents were randomly selected from the list, and then those selected residents were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n=5) and the control group (n=5). Residents in the intervention group listened to their own music playlists comprised of their favorite songs, artists, and music for 30 minutes at least twice a week for four weeks. Residents in the control group received usual care. Data on the residents’ mood and behaviors were collected from the Minimum Data Set and the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory at the pre- and post- intervention periods. The mixed effect model with the restricted maximum likelihood was applied to analyze the repeated measures data.
Results: There were 153 participants in the pre-test phase and 104 participants in the post-test phase. The current results revealed that participants experienced significant reductions in the frequency of sleeping issues (i.e., trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much) after a personalized music intervention was given (P < 0.05). All other variables were insignificant.
Conclusions/Implications: Although the data collection still continues, preliminary results indicated that the personalized music intervention is effective in improving sleep quality of nursing facility residents with dementia. This non-pharmacological intervention is low-cost, easy to implement, and does not require special licensure to administer. In addition, because of the use of playlists tailored to each resident’s preferences, implementation of this intervention will contribute to fostering person-centered care, which is a significant part of a holistic approach in healthcare settings. Therefore, nursing facility staff are encouraged to use this type of intervention with residents with dementia.