By Megan Vonada, Social Work; Judy Singlton, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Dr. Gary Dick
Abstract: The older adult Bhutanese Refugees have higher rates of being isolated due to a variety of factors including language barriers, lack of transportation, and adjusting to a new country. This research aims to measure the degree of depression and loneliness in older adult Bhutanese. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the mental health domains of loneliness and depression in older adult (age 60+) Bhutanese refugees. Twenty-five older adult Bhutanese refugees from Southwest Ohio were recruited to participate in this six-week long pilot study. Thirteen individuals participated in the intervention group which followed a recreational music making protocol, specifically HealthRHYTHMS¨, a group drumming program developed by a neurologist. The other 12 participants served as the control group and participated in weekly jigsaw puzzle activity sessions.Specific objectives of this study were to see if the effects of recreational music making on self-reported measures (UCLA Loneliness Scale; GDS short form) were superior than the effects reported when participating in non-musical recreational activities. These results and recommendations for future studies will be presented.