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Evaluating a protocol to train hospice staff in administering individualized music


Gallagher, Maribeth


International Journal Of Palliative Nursing, Volume: 17, No.: 4, Pages.: 195-201

Year of Publication



The ongoing extension of the average human lifespan in most parts of the world forecasts an unprecedented number of aging adults developing Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, commonly referred to as agitated behaviours, are estimated to occur in over 80% of patients and are typically treated using antipsychotic medications, posing significant morbidity and mortality risks. An evidence-based protocol known as individualized music (IM) offers a non-pharmacological intervention to reduce agitation. This project, using a one-group pre-test-post-test design, was implemented by training a self-selected sample of 24 hospice professionals to use the IM protocol with dementia patients. The effectiveness of the training on increasing the participants’ knowledge of and confidence in using IM was explored. Paired t-tests were employed to analyze the data and the results of the analysis were encouraging, suggesting that it is feasible to educate multidisciplinary hospice staff in implementing the IM protocol. Thus, there is potential for using IM in the palliative treatment of persons with advanced dementia.;


evidencebased nursing, hospice, hospices, humans, individualised, inservice training, knowledge, manpower, methods, music, music therapy, staff, standards, terminal care

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Before and After Study

Type of Outcomes




Type of Interventions

End of Life Care, Workforce oriented interventions

End of Life Care


Workforce Interventions

Professional Training / Continuing Professional Development