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J Multidiscip Healthc. 2020 Feb 11;13:143-151. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S231440. eCollection 2020.

Systematic Use of Song and Music in Dementia Care: Health Care Providers' Experiences.

Author information

Institute of Health and Nursing Science, University of Agder, Grimstad NO-4898, Norway.
Centre of Caring Research - Southern Norway, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Grimstad NO-4898, Norway.


Background and Aim:

Using song and music in a systematic way in residential dementia care may have several positive impacts on the patients, as well as the care providers. The aim of this study was to explore how health care providers experienced taking responsibility for conducting a song and music program in dementia care in nursing homes.


An explorative, qualitative study design was used. Focus groups were formed by 17 health care providers from 3 different nursing homes. These providers had experience implementing and using the "Gjenklang" ("reverberation") song and music program especially developed for people with dementia. Focus group interviews were transcribed verbatim, and systematic text condensation was used for analysing the data.


Three categories with associated subcategories emerged from the analysis process. The categories were 1) the music program increased the staff's consciousness and awareness; 2) the music program evoked the patients' emotions and reactions; and 3) maintaining enthusiasm over time.


The general opinion among the participants was that using the song and music program in a systematic and planned way had many benefits and positive impacts on the patients, as well as the staff. However, it was challenging to make it a part of the daily routine. Thus, it is important that the leaders of the units take responsibility to ensure continuity and maintain engagement among the staff over time.


dementia; focus group interviews; music program; music therapy; nursing homes; qualitative

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in this study.

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