The APP is involved in research to better understand how non-pharmaceutical interventions may improve the quality of life of people living with dementia.

We are excited to share our publication on the history of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and theory on how performing poems using call and response, activates echoic memory, in The Journal of the American Medical Associations, JAMA, Volume 320, Number 22, 2018.

Aagje Swinnen, Professor at Literature at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands and Kate de Medeiros, Associate Professor and Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Professor Gerontology at Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University take a humanities-based inquiry, to consider “play” in the context of two participatory arts programs (TimeSlips and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project) for people living with dementia. Published in the The Gerontologist.

" 'Play' and People Living With Dementia: A Humanities-Based Inquiry of TimeSlips and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project."

Working with the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, we conducted a research project entitled, "Medical Students’ Perceptions of Dementia after Participation in Poetry Workshop with People with Dementia." It was published in the latest issue of International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

"Medical Students’ Perceptions of Dementia after Participation in Poetry Workshop with People with Dementia."

Aagje Swinnen Professor of Literature at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, completed a 5-month study of the APP as a Fulbright Scholar that took place from February to June 2014. Her paper “Healing Words: Critical Inquiry of Poetry Interventions in Dementia Care,” was published the journal Dementia.

“Healing Words: Critical Inquiry of Poetry Interventions in Dementia Care,” Abstract

We have recently competed a research project with Dr. Kate de Medeiros, Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Scripps Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. That project is in the process of being written and the paper will be presented at the Gerontological Society of America Conference in 2016.

More info coming soon


Submitted to the School of Graduate Nursing In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of Master of Science in Nursing by Lynn Green, Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, Indiana, December, 2009

This paper by Lynn Green takes the Alzheimer's Poetry Project as its subject and is the first formal research into our performance and writing techniques. Here is a quote from the paper, "A qualitative descriptive approach was used to describe behaviors during a poetry session, while a phenomenological method was used to extract themes from the data. Poetry provided the conduit for eight memory-impaired participants to express their memories in a caring environment. From the observations, poetry emerged as a positive intervention that allows for human connection and the resurfacing of self."

Professor Dirk Cysarz, et al University of Witten/Herdecke,study how the heart rate and breath are effected by reciting poetry using "call and response." Published in the American Journal of Physiology.

Oscillations of Heart Rate and Respiration Synchronize during Poetry Recitation

Professors Kitty Clark-McGhee, University of East London, UK and Maria Castro, University of East London, UK paper " underpinned by social constructionist epistemology, which points to the socially constructed character of our worlds, in that we co-create and are co-created by (including
experience and identity) our social realities." Published in Dementia.

A Narrative Analysis of Poetry Written from the Words of People Given a Diagnosis of Dementia

Professor Philip Davis, University of Liverpool, researches, "Event-related potential characterisation of the Shakespearean functional shift in narrative sentence structure." Published in Neuro Image.

Shakespeare's Brain

Dr. Gene Cohen writes in this ground breaking study on the benefits of creative aging programs.

The Creativity and Aging Study The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults