TitleAligning Kitwood’s Model of Person-Centered Dementia Care with Music Therapy Practice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsKelly L, Ahessy B, Richardson I, Moss H
JournalMusic Therapy Perspectives
Date Published07

Person-centered dementia care has been extensively integrated into music therapy practice; its central aim being to meet the core psychological needs of people with dementia, uphold personhood, and contribute to enhanced quality of life. Furthermore, Kitwood’s model has been widely referenced as the theoretical framework underpinning multiple studies with people with dementia. However, few studies explore it in more concrete terms, expand on how it is implemented in practice, or describe how “positive person work” can be facilitated in music therapy with this population. This paper aims to address these lacunae, by presenting a comprehensive overview of Kitwood’s model; identifying how it has informed music therapy practice, and highlighting current applications of “person-centered music therapy” in relation to meeting the core psychological needs of people with dementia. Furthermore, the authors present practical considerations on facilitating “positive person work” in music therapy, drawing on their experiences of providing music therapy in dementia care.