The Effect of Music on the Coping of Informal Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science



Department or Program Chair

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, PhD, RN

Thesis Advisor

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, PhD, RN


The purpose of this research study was to measure the effect of a music intervention, on the coping of informal family caregivers of persons with dementia. This was a small pilot study with a quantitative, quasi-experimental, pre-test post-test design. A music intervention designed to reduce agitation and promote relaxation was taught to a sample of 13 informal family caregivers who then used the intervention in the home environment for a period of 4 weeks. Nine caregiver/care-recipient dyads completed the study. Prior to using the intervention, the caregivers completed a demographic survey, and a Memory and Behavior Problems Frequency and Reaction Checklist, to identify inclusion criteria and describe the characteristics of the population. The Folkman & Lazarus Ways of Coping Questionnaire (1988) was used as a pre-test and posttest to measure coping. The caregivers recorded frequency, duration and process of the music activity in a daily log. Results were statistically inconclusive as to the music intervention’s effect on caregiver coping. Clinical significance is evidenced by the caregivers’ willingness to participate in the study, learn and utilize the intervention, and verbalize that using the tool could be of benefit in dementia care. The study provided in the home healing music by informal dementia caregivers search with a small multivariable sample information on how to use environment. It provides insight into research with a small multivariable sample population with and implications for future research in this area.

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