Music And Psychology & Social connections (MAPS) is an online group program which combines music therapy via therapeutic songwriting and psychology informed by cognitive behaviour therapy for couples affected by younger-onset dementia. MAPS aims to improve the mental health and social connections in the spousal carers and in the people with younger-onset dementia, with secondary aims to improve coping skills in the spouses and behaviour changes associated with dementia.
Associate Professor Samantha Loi, MBBS, BMedSc, MPsych, FRANZCP, GradCertPOA, PhD. is a neuropsychiatrist and old age psychiatrist, involved in clinical research at Neuropsychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. An advocate for early career psychiatrists and women in academia, she leads a longitudinal study of people with younger-onset neurocognitive disorders (BeYOND). She is currently funded by an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship and is a past recipient of the RANZCP Early Career Psychiatrist award and Catalyst Foundation award and currently leads the MAPS project.
Claire Cadwallader, BSc (Hons), is a PhD (Clinical Neuropsychology) candidate and provisional psychologist from Monash University. She works as a research assistant within the Neuropsychiatry Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, assisting with biomarker and clinical intervention research in younger-onset dementia. She has assisted with the design, and is the psychologist facilitator for the MAPS project.
Phoebe Stretton-Smith, MMusThrp, BMus, is a Registered Music Therapist and Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Phoebe has over five years clinical and research experience on various projects involving people living with dementia and their family caregivers, including the NHMRC funded Music Interventions for Dementia and Depression in Elderly care (MIDDEL) controlled trial, and research on group therapeutic songwriting funded by the Dementia Australia Research Foundation (DARF). Phoebe contributed to the design of the MAPS program, and is the music therapist facilitator.
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