Residents React Positively and Negatively to the Music

Natania A -

Hey everyone! I have greatly enjoyed making advancements with my senior project this past week, as I have finally started working directly with patients! This past Thursday, I began administering my language assessments for the first time. At Paseo Village, I saw the six patients I had previously gained consent from. I played music for all of them, except one resident, who refused music but agreed to listen to music for the second session after 3 weeks. For the rest of the residents, I played music from a speaker I had brought from home at a medium volume for 10 minutes and at a low volume during the actual assessment. As expected, a few residents became visibly animated after listening to the songs that were familiar to them, whereas others had no reaction from the music, and even said that the songs were unfamiliar to them and that they did not listen to music often. However, the language tests were still a success for all residents, as each resident was able to respond effectively to at least half the questions, and although some had trouble hearing me, they still made a conscious effort to understand what I was saying and respond appropriately. I also had the opportunity to obtain signatures of consent from a few more residents, with whom I will be working next week. 

Because many of the residents in these facilities have multiple primary diagnoses and do not fall into the traditional categories of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, my site mentor and I have decided to generalize my sample into two groups, residents with neurological disorders and residents with psychiatric disorders. This will not only increase my sample size (for example, I was able to have a resident with Huntington’s Disease participate in my study) but will also enable me to sort and analyze my data more effectively. Previously, I was planning on dividing my patient population into 8 groups, based on whether music was present during the first or second session and based on which of the four disorders they presented with. However, now that I will solely be distinguishing between neurological and psychological disorders, I will have 4 groups, making my methodology more manageable, my data easier to collect, and my results easier to analyze. However, the core of my project remains intact, as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s would fall under the neurological spectrum, while schizophrenia and bipolar disorder would fall under the psychiatric spectrum. 

Over the weekend, I began making a spreadsheet with the data I have collected so far. This spreadsheet includes each resident, each resident’s diagnosis, the number I have assigned to each resident for confidentiality purposes, the score each resident received on the language test in the first session, the date of the first session, whether or not they listened to music during the first session, the date each resident is due for the next session, and any additional comments I had, including whether or not the resident enjoys music, if the resident has impaired hearing, etc. I am looking forward to continuing to edit this spreadsheet as I continue to work with more residents, so stay tuned for updates! Thank you for reading!

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    Brittany Holtzman
    Hi Natania! Sounds like you are off to a great start with your language assessments and able to make decisions to make the analysis and data collection more streamlined! I can't wait to see how it all turns out! -Mrs. Holtzman
    Hey Natania - I'm so excited to hear that you've begun data collection! You mentioned that many of the residents have multiple primary diagnoses, so I was wondering if you've seen a trend regarding which ones are the most co-morbid?
    The main one I've noticed so far is that schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder appear together in many residents, which is one of the main reasons why I decided to generalize my groups. Also, I have noticed that residents with dementia may have different types that do not categorize into simply Alzheimer's or a specific type of dementia. Some residents have mixed dementia, the most common one being Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. I have also seen residents with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, although that is not as common. Thanks for the question!

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