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Playlist for Life

You can use the pilot Playlist for Life app to

Everyone has a song that takes them back to another time and place or cheers them up, and listening to this music can have powerful benefits for those living with dementia.

More information

This information is for those already using the pilot Playlist for Life app. If you have any questions you can contact the lead researcher.

Taking part in the Playlist for Life research study

Am I eligible to join the research study?

You can join the Playlist for Life research study if you

  • Are living with dementia, or are caring for a family member or friend with dementia, and
  • Have access to an iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, or iPod Touch.
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What will I be asked to do if I take part in the study?

You’ll be given access to the Playlist for Life app, which you can use to make and listen to your own personal playlist of music. Tips and hints will help you to use the app and suggest songs that you may like to add. You can as much music as you like to the app and you can use it as often as you wish.

During the study, we ask that you use the app at least twice a week for about 30 minutes each time to enjoy making and listening to your Playlist for Life. The study lasts 12 weeks.

We’ll also ask you some research questions, that will help us to understand more about how personal music may help people affected by dementia.

Occasionally we’ll send you notices through the app, for example to ask you to complete a survey, or remind you to use the app.

Taking part in the study doesn’t involve any lifestyle restrictions or changes. You can carry on your everyday activities as usual while participating in the study.

It won’t cost you anything to use the app and take part in the study, other than to your mobile data plan if applicable. By using the app when you have Wi-Fi rather than on your 3G/4G network you can ensure that it won’t cost you anything to use.

Why is this research being carried out?

Researchers think that listening to personal music may improve the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers, and their relationship. This research aims to evaluate the effects of making and listening to personal playlists.

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How much time will I need for the research study?

As well as using the app, we’ll ask you to answer some questions during the 12-week research study:

The first time you use the app we’ll

  • Ask for some details from you such as your name and age
  • Describe the research study and ask if you consent to taking part
  • Ask you some questions about your wellbeing.

This should take no more than 20 minutes. You don’t have to finish in one sitting, you can pause and come back to this at any time. Once you’ve completed this you can start using the app.

Halfway through the project (after 6 weeks), and again at the end of the project (after 12 weeks) we’ll ask you to complete a questionnaire about how you’re feeling. This questionnaire should take no more than 20 minutes each time.

For each question, we’ll give you a list of options to choose from – you won’t be asked to write any responses. If there’s anything that you don’t want to do or to answer, you don’t have to.

In total, you’ll need at least three and a half hours each month, for 3 months, to take part in the research study. This includes time spent using the app and answering research questions.

How can I get the app?

To get the Playlist for Life app, sign up above, on this webpage, and we’ll send you an invite. We’ll ask you to install an app called TestFlight. This is a free Apple service that is used for testing apps. Once you have TestFlight you’ll be able to install Playlist for Life. As this is a pilot version of the Playlist for Life app it isn’t openly available on the App Store.

The Playlist for Life app uses music from Spotify, an online music provider and requires a Premium Spotify account, which are paid-for accounts. When you sign up to use the app we’ll give you a Spotify Premium account for 3 months, so you won’t need to pay anything to take part in the research study, and to use the app for that period. At the end of the 3-month period your Spotify account will become a free account, unless you choose to pay for a Premium account.

You’ll need an internet connection, either 3G/4G or Wi-Fi, to use the Playlist for Life app.

Risks and benefits

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Are there any risks of taking part?

It’s entirely up to you what songs you choose to add to you Playlist for Life. Please be aware that some memories you have as a result may make you feel happy or sad.

If you experience any unpleasant feelings, remember that you can stop or take a break from using the app at any time and discuss this experience with a friend, relative or loved one.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

If you decide to take part, we hope that this may be of some help to you. Previous research has shown that listening to personal music can have powerful benefits for wellbeing, from lifting mood and encouraging communication, to bringing a person with dementia closer to their friends, family and carers.  Everyone who takes part in the study will be contributing information that may help us to better treat people with memory difficulties in the future.

My information

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What information will you collect about me?

When you use the apps we’ll collect information about:

  • How you use the apps, such as how often, what time of day and for how long
  • The music that you add to your playlist
  • The emotions or memories that you attach to a piece of music, when you tell us this
  • Your answers to questionnaires, including your responses about how you’re feeling

All information collected during the study will be kept confidential. We won’t collect or share any information that will allow you to be identified, such as your name or location, and we won’t be able to identify you or any other individuals from this data.

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How will you share my information?

The information collected will then be sent securely to Dementia Citizens researchers and project partners, who’ll look at the effects of using Playlist for Life on the wellbeing and relationships of all participants.

Dementia Citizens researchers are academic researchers that are approved by Dementia Citizens now and in future.

We won’t be able to identify you or any other individuals from this data.

See the Dementia Citizens privacy notice for full information about data sharing.

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How will the information you collect be used?

The information collected will be used to try to improve dementia care. Findings will be published on the Dementia Citizens website, and in academic journals and shared at conferences.

Your personal information will always be kept anonymous and confidential – you won’t ever be identified in the findings.

We’ll keep data for as long as it remains useful to researchers and for no more than 7 years.

At the end of the study

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What will happen at the end of the study?

The study lasts 12 weeks. After the study ends,

  • You won’t be prompted to answer any further questions about your wellbeing
  • You’ll stop receiving notifications to use the app or fill in questionnaires
  • The Spotify account we’ll give you will stop being a Premium account. This means that you’ll still be able to listen to your playlist of personally meaningful music for free through the Spotify website, although not through the research app. If you wish to continue listening to music through the app you can subscribe to Spotify Premium – this is a paid-for service.
  • If you choose to subscribe to Spotify premium you should be able to continue to use the Playlist for Life app. However, please be aware that we won’t maintain this pilot version of the app after the 12-week research study, so you may experience some bugs and problems using it.

The charity Playlist for Life will be improving the app and launching it commercially later In the year. We’ll email you about how to access the new app with your Spotify account when it is ready.

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How can I leave the study?

To leave the study you can just stop using the app.

You can leave the study at any time once you have joined without giving a reason. The information that has been collected up until this point will be used in the study.

About the researchers and Playlist for Life

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Who is carrying out the study?

This study is being carried out by Dr Gianna Cassidy from Glasgow Caledonian University.

All research in Glasgow Caledonian University is looked at by an independent group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your interests. This study has been reviewed and approved by the School of Engineering and Built Environment Research Ethics Committee.

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Who do I contact if I have a question about the study?

If you have a question about taking part in this study please contact the lead researcher, Gianna Cassidy, on 0141 333 3866 or

What is Playlist for Life?

Playlist for Life is a charity working to bring the benefits of personally meaningful music in dementia care to as many people as possible, wherever they may be in the UK. You can find out more on the Playlist for Life website.