Connecting with Residents by Implementing Visual Supplements to the Language Test

Natania A -

Hi everyone! I am happy to share that I’ve continued to make progress with more residents from Paseo Village. This time, I did not play music for any of the residents and found that residents were still receptive to my questions, so I am looking forward to meeting some of these residents for a second time in a few weeks with the presence of music, so I can compare their two sessions and begin to identify the role of music in the attention span and language processing of these residents. I have also continued to gain consents from Paseo Village residents, both in The Crossings, although by this point I have already worked with a vast majority of them, and in a GCI unit (global cognitive impairment unit), Enclave West. I have also begun to gather a patient population from Fairmont Village and am excited to visit Sunshine Village for the first time this week! 

During my time in the facilities, I have noticed that some communication between me and the residents is lost because I have trouble understanding their language, and likewise, they have trouble hearing or understanding me. To alleviate some of this confusion, I have slightly modified the language assessment to make it more accessible to the residents. For example, I added visuals to some of the questions, so participants can see the word or see pictures related to a word, so that they do not have to rely solely on their hearing and listening skills. Even though I did not change any of the questions themselves, I was delighted to see a great improvement in residents’ understanding of the questions and willingness to answer them. 

During my time at home, I will continue to read current research and articles related to music therapy and neurological disorders. Along with reading research related to music therapy as a treatment for Alzheimer’s patients and as a method for improving language abilities, I will be looking into some articles explaining the role of music in pediatric patients with behavioral health issues. Although this is not directly related to my research, as most of my patient population consists of geriatric residents, I am interested to learn whether music has a similar effect on children and what differences, if any, there are between music therapy’s effects on geropsychiatric patients and pediatric psychiatric patients. Thanks for reading and stay tuned to hear about what I find in my readings next week! 


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    Brittany Holtzman
    Hi Natania! I think these are great changes you made to make the assessment questions more understandable for your subjects. I do wish of course that they were made before the start of the experiment, but often we learn how to improve things as we go through the process. You made this change early enough that I think it will have minimal negative effects on your data especially if you have a large sample size. Can't wait to hear about what you discover in your readings next week!
    Ms. Bennett
    Hi Natania, I'm happy to hear you have such success recruiting participants. Will you still use the data you collected from before your changes to the language assessment?
    Hi Ms. Bennett! I will still be using the data collected prior to the change, but this will be minimal, as I made my modifications early on in the study and only a handful of participants were faced with the original language assessment, so I am hoping this will not skew my results too much. However, I will keep note of which participants' data may be skewed due to the modifications of the assessment.

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