Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Tim Reagan, PhD, RDT, APTT
The purpose of this capstone thesis is to explore the potential of developing musically informed dramatic interventions that directly support the quality of life (QoL) for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD). Alzheimer's disease (AD) is progressive, causing people to lose their memory and thinking skills and eventually carrying out simple daily tasks. Researchers estimate that more than 5 million Americans live with AD today. There is no known cure for dementia, but treatment care has evolved into person-centered, non-pharmacological approaches often involving expressive art interventions to channel a patient's creative strengths. Research has become increasingly valuable in the field of drama therapy in recent years. However, more research is needed to provide rigorous studies that add to and strengthen the field's understanding of drama therapy practices. A gap in this research is adaptable, approachable, and accommodating dramatic interventions for this population. Through the writer's evaluation of research and experience at a nursing care facility, the data suggests a collaborative relationship between drama and music therapy is possible and can help create therapeutic musical theatre interventions. Furthermore, musically informed drama therapy, once developing structured methodology and conducting future empirical research, has the potential to create an entry point for patients with ADRD in accessing their imagination and creativity.
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Bingen, Amy, "Musical Theatre and Drama Therapy: A Duet for Dementia" (2022). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 500.
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