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Do community-based singing interventions have an impact on people living with dementia and their carers?: A mixed-methods study protocol

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Article numbere076168
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/11/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>BMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Introduction: Psychosocial interventions have been shown to improve mood, relieve stress and improve quality of life for people living with dementia (PwD). To date, most evaluations of singing interventions have focused on the benefits for PwD and not their carers. This research aims to evaluate the benefits of dementia singing groups for both PwD and their carers.
Methods and Analysis: This 2-year project will observe the impact of two different singing intervention services, one combining singing alongside dance and another that includes a sociable lunch. This project will aim to recruit a total of n=150 PwD and n=150 carers across the two singing interventions. Using a mixed-methods approach, the influence of both services will be analysed via the following outcome measures: quality of life, neuropsychiatric symptoms, social isolation, loneliness, cognition, carer burden and depressive symptoms in PwD and their carers using a pre/post study design. Regression models will be used to analyse the data with time (pre/post) as the exposure variable. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with a subset of people (n=40) to further investigate the impact of singing services with a specific focus on the acceptability of the interventions, barriers to access and prolonged engagement and potential for remote delivery. Interview data will be analysed using Braun & Clarke’s reflexive thematic analysis, and public advisors will assist with coding the transcripts. A social return on investment analysis will be conducted to determine the social impact of the services.
Discussion: Increased understanding of the influence of singing interventions and how effective singing interventions are delivered will inform current and future planning for non-pharmacological interventions and support. Further understanding of the barriers that PwD encounter when accessing support services will help in making support services and interventions more widely and easily accessible.
Ethics and dissemination: This project has received ethical approval from the University of Liverpool’s Ethics Committee (App ref: 12374) and Lancaster University’s Ethics Committee (App ref: 3442). All participants will provide informed consent to participate. Results will be presented at national and international conferences, published in scientific journals and publicly disseminated to key stakeholders.