Care Homes and Residential Music Therapy for Dementia (CHARMD)

By 2030 the number of people with dementia is predicted to rise by over 30 million worldwide, with up to 82% presenting with aggression or agitation due to the effects of the disease. There will be a growing demand for residential care that ensures effective behavioral management, optimum quality of life for residents, and carer-resident relations that enables safe, effective and comfortable daily care. 

Anglia Ruskin University and MHA care homes have a long-established research collaboration, which led to our 2015 music therapy for dementia feasibility study (Hsu et al, 2015) and now continues into this larger randomized controlled trial. The study has been designed with MHA, The University of Nottingham and an international cohort of experts in dementia care and research.

CHARMD aims to determine the effects of weekly music therapy and regular communication training for staff on agitation. Two hundred residents with moderate to severe dementia will be recruited from 20 MHA homes across the UK. The study will compare standard care with individual music therapy plus standard care. Eighteen qualified, state registered music therapists working for MHA will deliver the intervention over 20 weeks. Data will be collected at baseline, ten and 20 weeks, and two-month follow up. Standardized outcome measures will be used that have been tested and validated through the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trial initiative, and cost effectiveness analysis will be applied.