Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Byron Hargrove

Second Supervisor

Debra Lamb

Abstract

For senior-care and service providers, the issue of quality of life has moved beyond marketing to, in effect, the measuring of health-related outcomes. Particularly when the challenge of caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is daunting, as it cannot be prevented or cured and treatment possibilities are framed in a broader perspective to include alternative interventions such as music. Through the eyes of the caregivers, this 6-week, longitudinal quantitative study investigated individualized (passive) music programming and its effect on the health-related quality of life of residents in assisted living. The Alzheimer’s Disease Related Quality of Life instrument (ADRQL) was used to assess quality of life, and the importance of music was captured by the Assessment of Personal Music Preference. The data revealed an increase in quality of life from baseline through the final assessment; and when using only the home health aide staff, a series of multivariate repeated-measures analysis of variance found statistically significant improvements in overall quality of life and in all five ADRQL domain subscales (F = 9.54, p = 000, η2 = .52). The data also showed no significant correlation between the importance of music prior to cognitive impairment and quality of improvements (r = –.09, p = .786). The study had limitations, most importantly the small convenience sample (N = 11); therefore, a formal inductive inference concerning the population cannot be made. More rigorous studies increasing the sample size, using a control group, including confounding variables, and qualitative interviews are recommended.

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