Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward A, Roth, M.M.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Fiore

Third Advisor

Jeffrey VanWingen


Music therapy, Alzheimer's dementia, hospice, assessment, co-treatment

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) display symptoms that cause disturbances in memory, learning, language, motor ability, and behavior. Hospice medical professionals frequently experience difficulty when performing any treatment physical in nature, such as conducting a physical assessment, changing a wound dressing and wound care, and administering medications, since patients with (AD) often exhibit symptoms of agitation, anxiety, and combative behaviors before and during procedures. In addition, complex communication and cognitive impairments cause challenges with assessment and intervention planning. Music as a complex auditory modality can enhance state of alertness, physical movement, facial expressions, physiological responses (e.g., heart rate), and communication consequently improving assessment and treatment. This paper presents a collaboration of a music therapist with nurses to investigate the effects of collaborating professions co-treating versus standard care alone on people diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer's dementia on measures of consciousness, affect, cognition, verbal response, and agitation within a hospice setting. In addition, this project provides guidelines on the education of RNs on the application of music in their practice and an overview of hospice services, etiology and physiology of Alzheimer’s disease, development of hospice music therapy, and thorough research of music therapy interventions.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons