The Research Department

In order to examine and improve the effectiveness of care given to residents at the center, we research our clinical work in the various therapeutic fields (nutrition, physical therapy, nursing, music) and work to expand our research. Dr. Ayelet Dassa, a music therapist, is in charge of the research layout at the center. The research conducted at the center is approved by the Ethics Committee of the Social Work Department at Bar-Ilan University and is done in collaboration with Prof. Liat Ayalon from Bar-Ilan University and a guardian’s approval. We conduct collaborative research projects with external entities such as the Department of Gerontology at the University of Haifa, the Department of Engineering and Industrial Management at Ben Gurion University, Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, and more. The studies are published in professional journals in Israel and worldwide, presented at conferences, and are making waves in the media. Some of the studies conducted at the center include: 

The Role of Singing Familiar Songs in Encouraging Conversation among People with Middle to Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

The study examined the effect of singing in a music therapy group on the residents’ language ability, and was conducted as part of the doctorate of Dr. Ayelet Dassa, the research supervisor at the center, and under the supervision of Prof. Dorit Amir from the Department of Music at Bar-Ilan University.

The study results indicated an improvement in the conversation and singing abilities of residents who participated in the treatment groups compared with the control group. A significant change was observed in the language test conducted on residents before and after the intervention. In the study group, a deterioration of language ability was halted compared with a decreased ability in the control group.

The study was published in the Journal of Music Therapy and presented at various conferences in Israel and abroad.

A link to the Reuters article following the article’s publication: 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/11/us-alzheimers-singing-idUSKBN0FG1QE20140711 

 Dr. Ayelet Dassa on a "Erev Hadash" show Dr. Ayelet Dassa’s lecture at a conference in London   

The Effect of Background Stimulative Music on Behavior in Alzheimer's Patients

The study, which examined the effectiveness of music’s impact on the degree of agitation among residents in two wards at the center, was conducted in collaboration with the Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel and under the supervision of Dr. Ayelet Dassa. The findings indicated that when music was played, there was a significant reduction in agitation characteristics, such as shouting, recurrent pleas for attention, and so on. Moreover, positive behaviors were observed that included singing, drumming a song’s rhythm, smiling, and more. Furthermore, when music was not played, the number of problematic behaviors increased, and the number of positive behaviors decreased.

The study was published in the Journal of Music Therapy and presented at various conferences in Israel and abroad.

The Effect of Background Music during Mealtimes on the Degree of Agitation in Alzheimer's Patients

Subsequent to the results of the previous study, which indicated a significant reduction in the degree of agitation as a result of appropriate background music, the effectiveness of playing background music during mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in all of the center’s wards was examined.

The study was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ayelet Dassa and in collaboration with Dr. Aviva Even Zahav, Ms. Yana Berg the head nurse, and Ms. Galit Snir, the chief dietician at the center. The study results showed a reduction in the residents’ agitation during mealtimes, which contributes to a quiet and balanced eating environment, and affects the residents’ nutritional status. Subsequent to the results of the study, appropriate background music is played regularly during mealtimes at the center.

The study was published in Israeli Nursing Update. To read the article:

Http://www.medicalmedia.co.il/publications/ArticleDetails.aspx?artid=6430 & Sheetid = 485

The Effect of Background Music during Physical Therapy

The study examined the effect of music on residents’ functioning in the various activities during physiotherapy. The study was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ayelet Dassa in cooperation with the physiotherapy staff, managed by the physiotherapist Ms. Gila Hofenberg. As part of the study, appropriate music was selected for the activity, and activity times were measured for the various exercises conducted in the physiotherapy room.

The study is currently in the data analysis stage.

Forthcoming Research

An examination of emotional availability of long term caregivers in the institutional setting. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Department of Gerontology and Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa, and the Department of Social Work at Bar-Ilan University. The study aims to develop a tool to evaluate the emotional availability of caregivers for the elderly and to examine the relationship between the emotional availability of caregivers for the elderly suffering from dementia, and the behavioral problems that the elderly person exhibits and the caregivers’ degree of burnout.

Examining the effectiveness of training long term caregivers to use music when working with people with dementia. The day to day care of an Alzheimer's patient is difficult and demanding for the primary caregiver, whether in an institutional or domestic setting. This study examines the effect of using music during daily nursing activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, etc. on the patient’s degree of agitation and resistance to care. The study was conducted in collaboration with EMDA – The Alzheimer’s Association of Israel, and Bar-Ilan University.

Examining the effect of music on reducing agitation and tension during dental treatment. The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Avishay Reisner, a dentist who specializes in treating people with dementia, and in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University.