Published online Apr 22, 2012. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v2.i2.26
Revised: November 1, 2011
Accepted: February 15, 2012
Published online: April 22, 2012
The theory-based intervention of individualized music has been evaluated clinically and empirically leading to advancement and refinement of an evidence-based protocol, currently in its 5th edition. An expanded version of the protocol was written for professional health care providers with a consumer version tailored for family caregivers. The underlying mid-range theory is presented along with a seminal study that was followed by further research in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Japan and Taiwan. Key studies are summarized. Given its efficacy when implemented by research staff, studies have advanced to testing the intervention under real-life conditions when implemented and evaluated by trained nursing assistants in long-term care facilities and visiting family members. In addition, one study evaluated the implementation of music by family members in the home setting. Initial research focused on agitation as the dependent variable with subsequent research indicating a more holistic response such as positive affect, expressed satisfaction, and meaningful interaction with others. The article advances by describing on-line programs designed to train health care professionals in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of individualized music. In addition, Gerdner has written a story for a picture book intended for children and their families (in press). The story models principles of individualized music to elicit positive memories, reduce anxiety and agitation, and promote communication. The article concludes with implications for future research.