MFMM and Quantum Care Re-Start Promising Feasibility Study

MFMM and Quantum Care Re-Start Promising Feasibility Study

Using novel teach to measure the effects of personalised music on people living with dementia

Music for my Mind is delighted to partner with Quantum Care to conduct a feasibility study, starting July 2023. We will work with 80 people living with dementia, along with their families and carers, to explore the most efficient and cost-effective ways of creating and delivering personalised music within care homes. We will assess how people respond to the music, including trialling automated video analysis of emotional responses.

Collaborating with Marcel Gehrung (Cyted, Cambridge computer scientist and entrepreneur) we will test the feasibility of using machine learning analysis of changes in facial expression to develop quantitative measures of emotional responses to personalised music. This is showing really encouraging results when correlated with data recorded manually through direct observation. 

The hypothesis

Personalised music will have an effect on reducing behavioural and psychological symptoms and improving relationships with carers and family.

How do we measure the effects of music in people with dementia?

The team will work over several months with 80 residents who might benefit from the use of personally meaningful music as part of their care.

With the support of families and carers, using MFMM’s novel Playlist Maker, a playlist is created automatically based on responses to the questionnaire.

Each song on the playlist is played to establish which ones are responded to most positively by assessing changes in facial expressions and observing responses such as singing, tapping feet, etc. Songs with the most positive responses will become the resident’s personalised playlist for use as part of their care.

To assess the impact over time, the team will visit regularly to record staff and family’s observations of how the music has been affecting the resident’s well-being and mood.

The study will be conducted by Music for my Mind’s Research Assistant, Lucy Kerry, a recent graduate with an MSc in Dementia: Causes, Treatments and Research (Neuroscience), with support from Programme Manager, Dimana Georgieva and the charity’s Founder and Chair, Prof. Keith McAdam.

Of the study, Prof. McAdam said “Our shared vision is that everyone living with memory loss or dementia will have a playlist of personally meaningful music, as part of their care plan. 

Our study will lay the groundwork for larger-scale studies that improve the evidence base for music listening in dementia care.”

Looking to the future

Universal availability of personalised music listening as an affordable, user-friendly care option could transform the well-being of millions of people affected by dementia and relieve pressure on carers and the NHS.

Participation in the study will help improve the process for creation of personal playlists and their delivery in care home settings, making the well-being benefits of music accessible to more families across the UK. 

The data will help to influence policy makers, care providers and clinicians to deploy personalised music listening more widely within dementia care and social prescribing.

Create a playlist for someone you love with dementia in 15 minutes

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