Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Corinne Wheeler



Dementia is one of the degenerative conditions that present in old age with a decline in cognitive function resulting in changes in personality and the ability to carry out activities of daily living and social functions. Dementia is usually associated with behavioral disturbances that include anxiety and agitation that pose a challenge for family members or caregivers in an alternate home or care-related facility. The purpose of this project was to design and implement a quality improvement program to evaluate music therapy intervention for residents in a long-term care who have dementia. The aim was to evaluate if music therapy was effective in reducing anxiety and agitation in these residents. The Kolcaba theory of comfort was the framework that guided the approach, and the logic model was the tool used to guide the process of program implementation over the period of 1 month. The Rating of Anxiety in Dementia (RAID) and the Cohen Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI-short form) scales were the assessment tools utilized to analyze the collected data. The program was formatted using a cyclic twice-weekly group listening sessions that comprised of 6 participants. Each session lasted 30 minutes that included listening to vocal music of a past genre that should be familiar. A convenience sample of 4 caregivers who routinely cared for the residents used the instruments to document physical and behavioral assessments following the music sessions. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and the results suggest that music intervention produced changes in the RAID and CMAI scores for the 6 individuals. The results suggest that music interventions can positively affect the cognitive and functional status of mildly impaired elderly individual, thereby promoting social change.