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Implementing person centred dementia care: a musical intervention

Argyle, Elaine; Kelly, Tony


Elaine Argyle


Purpose - Recent years have seen the advocacy of person centred approaches to dementia care. An important component of this approach has been the use of arts in the promotion of health and wellbeing. However, relatively little attention has been given to the barriers and facilitators experienced in trying to implement these types of interventions in a dementia care setting. It is therefore the purpose of this article to help to redress this neglect by examining the process of implementing a personalized musical intervention for clients of a specialist dementia home care service.

Design/methodology/approach - Drawing on interviews with five project stakeholders, the paper examines, not only the potential benefits to be gained from the musical intervention but also identifies the barriers experienced in its implementation and ways in which they could be overcome.

Findings - It was found that although the musical intervention had a potentially positive impact, there were multi-leveled barriers to its implementation including issues of training, leadership as well as contextual issues such as commissioning and resourcing more generally.

Originality/value - The key role played by these issues in the process of implementation suggests that practice should transcend its focus on individual well-being and address the wider factors that can facilitate or prevent its fulfillment. While the multi-leveled nature of the obstacles identified suggest that the implementation of innovative interventions within health and social care settings should adopt a similarly eclectic approach.


Argyle, E., & Kelly, T. (2015). Implementing person centred dementia care: a musical intervention. Working with Older People, 19(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2015
Publicly Available Date Dec 14, 2015
Journal Working With Older People
Print ISSN 1366-3666
Electronic ISSN 2042-8790
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Keywords Person centred approaches, Dementia, Musical intervention, Leadership perspectives, United Kingdom
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copyright Emerald Group Publishing, 2015


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