Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 October 2008
Background: The study aims to provide insight into the type of music being offered in Dutch nursing homes to patients with both dementia and verbal and vocal agitation. It also investigates the degree to which the music offered corresponds to the musical preferences of the nursing home residents.
Method: Using random sampling, 20 nursing homes were selected to participate in this study. Within these homes, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nursing home physicians (n = 17) and other nursing home care providers (n = 20). Each interview focused on up to three psychogeriatric residents with verbal and vocal agitation. In total, 51 residents were discussed in the interviews.
Results: For each resident, the frequency of music, the type of music being offered, and the degree of correspondence between the music being offered and the resident's preferences varied. In almost all cases, music was being offered in the communal living room during the mid-morning coffee and the afternoon tea, while music was only infrequently offered to residents during meals. However, this music was not tailored to the preferences of the residents. During patient-centered care activities in the early morning and before sleep, when offered, the music was generally tailored to the preferences of the resident(s).
Conclusion: Music is frequently played in nursing homes to patients with dementia who have verbal and vocal agitation. When offered to a group of residents, the music tends not to be tailored to the preferences of the residents. However, when offered individually, musical preferences are generally taken into account.