Learning Objectives

The participants will be able to:

  1. Identify 3 ways in which agitation negatively impacts the resident's life.
  2. Identify resident characteristics for use of individualized music.
  3. Identify when individualized music is not appropriate as an alternative intervention in the management of agitation in residents with dementia.
  4. Discuss key elements in assessing the selection of individualized music.
  5. Identify rationale for timing of the individualized music intervention.
  6. Discuss the importance of including family in the planning of care.

Time 45 Min.

  • 20 min: Give lecture on guidelines for Individualized Music Intervention for the management of agitation in residents with dementia
  • 15 min: Presentation of case studies
  • 10 min: Discussion and questions.


  1. Review mid-range theory for use of individualized music intervention for agitation. Persons with advanced Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) have a decreased ability or an inability to understand verbal language. However, it is believed that receptive and expressive musical abilities are preserved in individuals with ADRD long after their ability to process or express verbal language (Crystal, Grober, & Mauser, 1989; Petsche, Lindner, Rappelsberger, & Guber, 1988; Swartz, Hantz, Crummer, Walton, & Frisina, 1989).

    In addition, memory loss is usually associated with recent events whereas remote memory usually remains relatively intact. Therefore, it is theorized that the presentation of carefully selected music based on personal preferences may stimulate remote memory. Music changes the focus of attention and provides an interpretable stimulus, overriding meaningless or confusing stimuli in the environment. Further, the theory maintains that the eliciation of memories associated with positive feelings has a soothing effect on individuals with ADRD, which in turn, prevents or alleviates agitation (Gerdner, 1997).

  2. Review evidence-based protocol for Individualized Music Intervention
  3. Meet with charge nurses and primary care aides to identify residents with dementia who also display agitation
  4. Disseminate inservice flyer
  5. Invite family members to inservice

Sample Lecture
  1. Right Click here and select "Save Target As" to download a powerpoint presentation (PPT, 537KB)

Case Study

  1. Click here to view a case study
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