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J10 Musical Communication And Health Care In Advanced Stages Of Huntington’s Disease – A Mixed Method Multiple Case Study Of Collaborative Individualised Music Therapy
  1. SK Lagesen
  1. NKS Olaviken Hospital for Old Age Psychiatry, University of Bergen, Norway


Context Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare neurodegenerative disease. In late stages of HD, a triad of symptoms affects communication for everyone affected by the disease, either being a patient with HD, family or health professionals. Communication disability results in the patient being affected either by apathy or frustration. This makes interactions in HD health care a challenging task. Health care in advanced stages aims to improve quality of life. There is no cure. The health care at NKS Olaviken hospital for old age psychiatry is based on a model of primary caregivers and some therapies limited in time. One therapy that helps with communication is music therapy (MT). MT differs from conventional verbal communication as MT is based on musical interactions. Music therapists working with HD report that MT can meet emotional, communication and self-expression needs. Research is limited yet promising. Research question: How does collaborative individualised music therapy affect the quality of care in a specialised nursing home for patients in advanced stages of Huntington’s disease?

Objectives and aims 1) to gain more knowledge about how music therapy can facilitate communication between patient and professional caregivers; 2) to better understand how participation in music therapy can strengthen relationships in professional health care of a complex neurological condition. The suggested study aims to uncover some general advice for health professionals wishing to do collaborative work.

Summary of content This suggested exploratory study will through mixed methodology include primary caregivers in collaborative individualised MT with patients with HD at NKS Olaviken, exploring musical communicativeness.

Significance MT to improve quality of giving and receiving health care.

  • music therapy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • musical communication
  • collaboration
  • health care relationships

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