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Update - Evidence-Based Guideline: Individualized Music for Persons with Dementia (6th Edition)


Evidence-Based Guideline: Individualized Music for Persons with Dementia was originally developed in 1996 and has been refined over time based on an expanding body of evidence. The protocol is currently in its 6th edition. The purpose is to use individualized music as an alternative non-pharmacological intervention to reduce agitation in persons with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. This guideline is accompanied by an evidence grade schema that is used to assign a specific grade based on the strength and type of evidence for each recommendation.  To facilitate implementation, assessment criteria for the use of pre-recorded music for the purpose of alleviating agitation in persons with dementia. The guideline also contains recommendation for assessing the temporal patterning of agitation so that the timing of the intervention can be tailored to maximize the effects and benefits of the intervention. The last link to successful implementation includes a monitoring system that encompasses outcome and process factors. Therefore, evaluation and outcome monitors, specifically tailored to this intervention, are included to support the use of individualized music. Click here to download the full version.

Linda A. Gerdner PhD, RN, FAAN, author of Evidence-Based Guideline: Individualized Music for Persons with Dementia, is currently an ethnogeriatric specialist at the Geriatric Education (Center for Education in Family and Community Medicine) at Stanford University and has served as a visiting scholar at Sweden’s Göteborg Universitet. She was the first to develop and test a protocol for individualized music in persons with dementia. Dr. Gerdner advanced this work by developing and testing the mid-range theory of individualized music intervention for agitation. Her cutting edge research won the International Psychogeriatric Association / Bayer Research Award. The seminal study was published in International Psychogeriatrics and was identified as the 4th most highly cited article in the journal’s history. This work has led to the development of an evidence-based protocol for the use of individualized music as an alternative intervention for the management of dysfunctional behaviors in persons with dementia. This theory-based intervention is the impetus for further testing by researchers in Taiwan, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and the U.S. In addition, Dr. Gerdner has written a story, Musical Memories, that introduces an innovative model for the translation of  evidence-based practice into an engaging story for children and their family. This children’s picture book is currently in press by Pizzicato Press [an imprint of Shen’s Books]. The book is also intended to serve as a valuable resource to health care professionals and educators.