The increasing prevalence of dementia is a public health concern amid an increasingly ageing population. Music with Movement intervention has proven to be a promising approach in improving the well-being and enhancing the cognitive performance of patients with cognitive impairment, but the implementation can be impeded by barriers such as intervention fidelity, subjective assessments, unorganised music genres, inflexible training programmes and time-consuming documentation processes.


To address these challenges, Dr Daphne Cheung, Associate Professor at the School of Nursing of PolyU and her team launched the project “A Stand-alone Therapeutic Music with Movement Programme for Elderly with Cognitive Impairment” in November 2020 for a period of three years, in collaboration with the Nethersole School of Nursing of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The project is supported by the Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living and the Ho Cheung Shuk Yuen Charitable Foundation.


The project has created a stand-alone tablet-based interactive programme, which comprises training for caregivers on music intervention techniques, wireless music motion-sensing and AR games for users, a data management and analytical system for health and engagement reports. Implementation is made more efficient with features such as a training manual e-book, an Android Console Music with Movement system, and an RFID (radio frequency identification) card for user identification.


“Interpersonal social interaction is an important factor influencing the sense of well-being and in maintaining optimal stimulation of older people with dementia. Music serves as a medium of communication when verbal community abilities are diminished. Technology is not there to replace human interaction, but to facilitate the implementation of meaningful human-to-human interaction through music activities,” said Dr Cheung.


The project was recognised with the Silver Award under the Smart People (Smart Ageing) Award category of the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2022. To learn more, please visit here.