Music and autobiographical memory: how an analysis of Desert Island Discs may help conceptualise personalised music interventions for people living with dementia

Theodosopoulou Bourlogianni, Danai (2021) Music and autobiographical memory: how an analysis of Desert Island Discs may help conceptualise personalised music interventions for people living with dementia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Dementia disrupts the autobiographical memory system, including memories of specific episodes, personal experiences, and the facts of one’s life. All these elements contribute to a sense of self. Disruption of autobiographical memory can affect psychological well-being, potentially contributing to psychological and behavioural symptoms and compromised interpersonal communication. This study explores how autobiographical memory functioning in people living with dementia can be engaged through personalised music interventions, thus optimising such interventions and potentially improving dementia care.

Three main methods are used: 1) A synthesis of two systematic reviews: the first focused on how autobiographical memory is affected across the different types of dementia; the second explored the effect of personalised music on behavioural and psychological symptoms in patients with dementia. The first systematic review (28 papers) found differences among the subtypes of dementia in relation to the temporal gradient effect, the recalled details of semantic and episodic memories and the recall of self-defining memories. The second systematic review (30 studies) found a positive but not lasting effect on behavioural and psychological symptoms. The effect was greater in active personalised music interventions than in passive listening to personalised music

2) A qualitative thematic analysis of the Desert Island Discs radio broadcasts, to understand the processes of sharing personally meaningful music choices and how music supports a sense of self. The analysis identified the emotional dimensions of autobiographical music memories; of particular salience was that of nostalgia and how music enables people to share meaningful emotional autobiographical memories, including painful and difficult ones.

3) An exploratory focus group discussion with professionals who use music interventions with people living with dementia, to contribute to theoretical conceptualization for personalised music intervention. The analysis demonstrated how music enables emotions, especially during difficult experiences; it also highlighted the importance of each person’s history and the need to find complementary ways to evaluate music interventions in dementia care.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2022 06:37
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 06:39


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