Author details: Shreena Unadkat, D. Clin. Psych, Paul M. Camic, PhD*,and Trish Vella-Burrows, PhD
Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.
*Address correspondence to Paul M. Camicl: firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose of Study: There is a continuing interest around the use of group singing in dementia care. Although studies generally indicate positive outcomes, limited research has been carried out from a relational perspective, which places the couple relationship
in a central position. This study aimed to better understand how group singing benefits people with dementia and their partners.
Design and Methods: Interview data from 17 couples (N = 34) with one member having dementia, who participated in a range of different types of singing groups, were analyzed using grounded theory methodology.
Results: Five key areas were identified, resulting in the development of the group singing model in dementia for couple dyads. Group singing was experienced as being
both joyful and accessible. The accessibility of singing, combined with effective facilitation, created an environment for active participation and enjoyment. The group effect mediated further benefits for the person with dementia and for the caregiver
which, when combined, increased benefits for the couple through participation in new experiences.
Implications: An opportunity for couples to share in-the-moment creative expression and the positive affect of artistic creation circumventing cognitive impairment is likely to contribute positively to the experience of the relationship. A more refined understanding of shared creative processes in relationship-centered models of care could inform dementia support services. Future research would benefit from exploring the links between creativity in couples and relationship resilience.