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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Foland


Dementia is a progressive neurological disease that affects people cognitively and may result in agitated behaviors often treated with medications or physical restraints. Non pharmacological interventions are recommended as first line treatment of agitated behaviors in patients with dementia. The purpose of this project was to examine the effect of an individualized music program for the treatment of agitated behaviors in patients with dementia. A convenience sampling of elderly were selected who were residents admitted to a Community Living Center (CLC) in a Veterans Administration Hospital located in a Midwestern city and who met the inclusion criteria. The Abbreviated Cohen- Mansfield Agitation inventory was the instrument used to measure agitation levels before and after the intervention. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the difference in the agitation levels between the intervention group and the control group. No significant difference in the results of agitation was found. The number of pre and post intervention psychotropic medication doses was examined and found fewer scheduled and as-needed psychotropic medications used in the intervention group as compared to the control group. However, the number of medication doses were too small to run a statistical test. The project coordinator and nursing staff observed increased episodes of smiling, rhythmically shuffling feet and verbal interaction with staff in the intervention group suggesting improved quality of life which reinforced the clinical significance of this project.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Music therapy
Music therapy for older people


Includes bibliographical references (page 49-54)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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