01:42pm Thursday 17 October 2019

Couples dealing with dementia needed for music study

Entitled “As Time Goes By”, the project involving UQ’s Dr Felicity Baker and Dr Nancy Pachana and the University of Melbourne’s Professor Denise Grocke requires 120 couples living in or near (within a day’s return drive) Melbourne, Brisbane or Townsville as the project will involve participation in a home-based, carer-conducted music program.

The project is designed to trial an active music intervention where the care-giving spouse is shown how he or she could use music effectively with his or her partner to facilitate the sharing of meaningful experiences, and promote intimacy and joy in the relationship (other than through interactions based on general care-giving tasks).

UQ School of Music’s Dr Felicity Baker said researchers were particularly interested in examining the effects of the program on the care-giving spouse within each couple.

“We already know the power of music to enrich people’s lives and enhance relationships between family members,” Dr Baker said.

“We envisage that sharing music and the associated memories together will enhance the spousal relationship, by giving couples an opportunity to intentionally do something together which may facilitate reminiscence and provide enjoyment for both of them.

“As one care-giving spouse who participated in a pilot program commented: ‘It was lovely to share some ‘us’ time and forget everything else. It was something we can both do which is easy.’.”

As the project is home-based, researchers can provide a music education session and, if necessary, loan a CD player and CDs to participants.

The project will also involve two comparison conditions: one-third of participants will receive instructions in music for relaxation only, and another third would be on a wait-list for six weeks. After the six weeks, both comparison groups would receive instruction in the active music intervention.

To participate, please contact Vannie Ip at vannieip@hotmail.com or 0425 733 311 (Melbourne and surrounds); Wendy Chatterton at w.chatterton@uq.edu.au or 0438 788 599 (Brisbane and surrounds) or Gucki Reissenberger at gucki.reissenberger@uqconnect.edu.au or 0400 721 092 (Townsville and surrounds).

Researchers can call prospective participants back as there is not a free-call number at this stage.

Media: Dr Felicity Baker (3365 3740) or Shirley Glaister at UQ Communications (3365 2802).

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