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Flexible Design Research to validate communication in persons with dementia in advanced stages

Norsk Forening for Musikkterapi
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  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Design
  • Medicine
  • Musicology


Persons with dementia suffer a dialogical degenerative disease. It becomes problematic to express basic needs, and to feel recognized and understood. This can lead to isolation, resulting in serious secondary symptoms to the dementia disease. Using songs in a music therapeutical setting might enable ways of communication adjusted to the person. The songs function to structure, motivate, stimulate, and regulate, and finally as means of enabling communication and dialogue. The research is trying to investigate if songs have regulative effects and to outline different levels of communication. The method is an ethnographical process research using Atlas.ti as qualitative research software for the analysis and administration of transcribed data, and using physiological data to validate observational data in a case study design. In a flexible design both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are used as a rich approach to understanding communication. The qualitative analysis is based on principles of grounded theory using selective, open, and axial coding techniques. The quantitative data is combined with time scales, sequence measures and event coding adding different perspectives to the case description. The flexible research methodology will be exemplified with material from the case descriptions and of the use of Atlas.ti.

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