The characteristics of older people with dementia and the long-term care environment can make conducting research a challenge and, as such, this population and setting are often understudied, particularly in terms of clinical or randomized controlled trials. This paper provides a critical discussion of some of the difficulties faced whilst implementing a randomized controlled trial exploring the effect of a live music programme on the behaviour of older people with dementia in long-term care. A discussion of how these challenges were addressed is presented to aid investigators planning the design of similar research and help encourage a proactive approach in dealing with research-related challenges right from project conception. The article is structured according to the three principles of a randomized controlled trial in order to keep experimental rigour at the forefront of this research area.
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