The Effect of a Music Therapy Presentation on the Perceptions of Long-term Care Facility Employees

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Tasker Harris, Stephanie
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
The increasing number of individuals with dementia in long-term care facilities and the non-existence of music therapy programs in memory care units in the region of Northwest Indiana means that individuals with dementia are not receiving the benefits of music therapy services. This study examined the effect of a presentation on the perception of long-term care administrators and staff on music therapy programs in memory care units. Participants were 11 administrators and staff from two long-term care facilities in Northwest Indiana. The participants completed a pre-test survey, viewed a 30-minute presentation, and completed a post-test survey. The pre and post-test surveys were identical and contained questions regarding perceptions and knowledge of music therapy in memory care units. The results from this study showed that 39% of participants’ perceptions and knowledge changed positively following the presentation. An average of 54% of participant’s perceptions and knowledge stayed the same. The questions that did not change were related to services the facility offered and their perceptions of whether services would be beneficial. Only 8% of the participant’s answers demonstrated a negative change. The question most commonly answered in the negative direction was regarding funding. The answers that remained the same from pre-test to post-test included those addressing whether the participants thought music therapy would be beneficial for individuals with dementia and for caregivers, and those addressing the offering of complementary and alternative therapies. The researcher recommends further revision of the presentation. A larger group of participants from a variety of locations should participate in a follow-up study.