Physiological responses of people with dementia during pscyhosocial interventions

DClinPsych Thesis

Walker, N. 2020. Physiological responses of people with dementia during pscyhosocial interventions. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology
AuthorsWalker, N.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clincal Psychology

Section A is a literature review exploring what physiological responses and psychometric measures tell us about the experience of an individual with dementia during a psychosocial intervention. The review included eighteen peer reviewed studies that included both a psychometric measure of emotional state and physiological responses to evaluate the effect of a psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. The broad range of measures and interventions made it hard to draw firm conclusions, however findings indicate heart rate and heart rate variability were most consistently associated with improvements in mood and behaviour across a broad range of interventions. Salivary assays also showed promise however data collection was a challenge.

Section B consisted of two linked multiple-case studies which measured physiological responses during two music-based interventions; a singing group for people with mildmoderate dementia and an interactive music group for people in the later stages of dementia. Results showed some changes in physiological response related to the intervention and changes in music. Findings indicated that physiological responses may provide valuable information about the experiences of people with dementia, particularly if used in conjunction with other measures. Future research combining video analysis, observations and physiological measures was recommended.

KeywordsDementia; Physiological responses; Psychosocial intervention
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Deposited07 Jan 2021
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