Subjects will be observed a second time in their normal settings subsequent to the completion of the music therapy. During this observation, data relevant to the dependent variables will be collected and recorded.
Three hypotheses will be tested to assess the effects of music therapy on the behavior of Alzheimer's patients. ANOVA procedures will be applied in the testing of the hypotheses.
Alzheimer's patients exhibit a range of behaviors that create difficulties for caregivers (Cole, 1995). These behaviors include anxiety, depression, agitation, and violence. Therapies and management procedures other than pharmacological medications and physical restraint are desirable. Music therapy has been suggested as an intervention for patients experiencing anxiety, depression, agitation, and violence (Covington, 1997). A research study is proposed, the purpose of which will be to assess the feasibility of music therapy as an intervention for Alzheimer's patients.
The topic of the proposed study is important because the behavioral disturbances exhibited by Alzheimer's patients create a potential for physical harm to the patient, "social isolation and caregiver burnout" (Cole, 1995, p. 1). The topic of the proposed study is significant because the continuing growth of the elderly segment of the population may be expected to be accompanied by an increase in the numbers of Alzheimer's