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Article
The Effect of Pre-­meal, Vocal Re-creative Music Therapy on Nutritional Intake of Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: A Pilot Study
Music Therapy Perspectives
  • Larisa McHugh, Bethany Village
  • Susan Gardstrom, University of Dayton
  • James Hiller, University of Dayton
  • Megan Brewer, University of Dayton
  • Wiebke S. Diestelkamp, University of Dayton
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2012
Abstract
Singing has long been credited with a wide variety of physical, mental, and social health benefits (Hunter, 1999). Recent scientific inquiry points to the efficacy of singing toward enhanced cardiovascular and pulmonary performance (Bonilha, Onofre, Vieira, Prado, & Martinex, 2009), verbal communication (Wan, Ruber, Hohmann, & Schlaug, 2010), and immune functioning and attendant affective states (Kreutz, Bongard, Rohrmann, Hodapp, & Grebe, 2004; Kuhn, 2002; Unwin, Kenny, & Davis, 2002). Among older adults, singing has been linked with improved mood, better quality of life, greater happiness, stress reduction, and emotional well-being (Clift et al., 2010). In our own work, we have noticed repeatedly the benefits of singing with older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Individuals who show signs of hyper-arousal (i.e., restlessness, agitation, and/or purposeless or perseverative behavior) tend to become calmer and more meaningfully involved after just 20 to 30 minutes of active engagement in singing. Individuals who are hypo-aroused (i.e., sleepy, depressed, and/or nonresponsive) tend to become more alert, physically active, and socially interactive by the end of a session in which singing has been a primary focus. In this way, singing appears to serve a regulative function, as posited by Aldridge (2007)—that is, it has the capacity to compose and soothe individuals who are disorganized or anxious and arouse those with abnormally diminished levels of physical and cognitive activity, thereby moving both profiles to more optimal functioning. Additionally, our perception has been that this improved functioning often ‘‘carries over’’ into other daily activities. These observations regarding singing led us to question whether pre-meal singing might be an efficacious way to combat the malnutrition to which so many individuals with ADRD are vulnerable.
Inclusive pages
32-42
ISBN/ISSN
0734-6875
Document Version
Postprint
Comments

The document available for download is the authors' accepted manuscript, posted here in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Some differences may exist between this version and the publisher's version; as such, researchers wishing to quote directly from it are advised to consult the version of record, available at many libraries or from the publisher.

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher
American Music Therapy Association
Peer Reviewed
Yes
Citation Information
Larisa McHugh, Susan Gardstrom, James Hiller, Megan Brewer, et al.. "The Effect of Pre-­meal, Vocal Re-creative Music Therapy on Nutritional Intake of Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias: A Pilot Study" Music Therapy Perspectives Vol. 30 Iss. 1 (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wiebke_diestelkamp/3/