The role of music therapists in interdisciplinary competence development in dementia care

Jens Anderson-Ingstrup, Solgunn Elisabeth Knardal, Katarina Lindblad, Aase Marie Ottesen, Hanne Mette Ochsner Ridder

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The role of music therapists in interdisciplinary competence development in dementia careBackgroundThe use of live or recorded music by professional caregivers for people with dementia has been documented by several authors (e.g. Clark, 1998). Besides treating psychological symptoms of dementia, music therapists also have the possibility of supporting caregivers in using music (Jacobsen, 2008; Ottesen, 2014). This approach has been formulated as “music therapeutic caregiving” (Hammar et al., 2011) or “in-direct music therapy” (Bunt & Stige, 2014). With a growing focus on the use of music in the field of dementia, there is a need to provide a clearer understanding of when and how music is used by music therapists and caregivers.ObjectivesThe objective of this roundtable is to discuss the need and possibility of music therapy used for competence development based on knowledge sharing and knowledge mobilisation in a Nordic context.ContentThe speakers will provide information from their specific work. Based on an action research study, Ottesen discusses the role of the music therapist as a facilitator of situated learning processes for caregivers. Ridder presents an understanding of how person-attuned musical interactions may form the basis of caregiver’s use of music. Lindblad presents an overview of the situation in Sweden, where the role of music therapists in dementia care is not yet widely acknowledged, but the interest in educating and inspiring staff is large. Knardal shares her experiences with interdisciplinary collaboration on assessment in a Norwegian context, and Anderson-Ingstrup presents results from an ongoing ethnographic study on Danish music therapists working in the field of dementia.
Bunt, L., & Stige, B. (2104). Music Therapy: An art beyond words (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Clark, M. E., Lipe, A. W., & Bilbrey, M. (1998). Use of music to decrease aggressive behaviors in people with dementia. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 24, 10-17.
Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Götell, E., & Engström, G. (2011). The impact of caregivers' singing on expressions of emotion and resistance during morning care situations in persons with dementia: an intervention in dementia care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20, 968-978. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03386.x
Jacobsen, A. F. (2008) Musikterapeutisk vejledning i tværfagligt samarbejde – et eksempel fra demensområdet. Tidsskriftet Dansk Musikterapi, 5(2), 3-7.
Ottesen, A. M. (2014). Anvendelse af musikterapi og Dementia Care Mapping I EN LÆRINGSMODEL til udvikling af musiske og interpersonelle kompetencer hos omsorgsgivere til personer med demens. ET CASESTUDIE MED EN ETNOGRAFISK TILGANG. Aalborg Universitet.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date11 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2018
EventThe 9th Nordic Music Therapy Congress in Stockholm - Rönneberga Conference Center Lidingö, Stokholm, Sweden
Duration: 8 Aug 201812 Aug 2018


ConferenceThe 9th Nordic Music Therapy Congress in Stockholm
LocationRönneberga Conference Center Lidingö


  • music therapist
  • dementia
  • interdisciplinary competence development
  • dementia care


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