Objective: This study aimed to measure the effectiveness of the Cognitive Stimulation program "Making a Difference" in improving cognition and depressive symptomatology in elderly retired community dwellers.
Method: A multicenter quasi-experimental study sampled 44 elderly community dwellers from four day-care centers (rural, semi-rural and urban) of the central region of Portugal. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the Geriatric Depression Scale were administered at the following two time points: baseline and post-test.
Results: From baseline to post-test, a statistically significant difference was observed in depressive symptoms (F=4.967; p=0.031), explaining 10.4% of the variance (Partial Eta Squared - ηp2=0.104), power=0.59, and cognition (F=6.368; p=0.015), explaining 12.9% of the variance (Partial Eta Squared - ηp2=0.129), power=0.69.
Conclusions: Our results showed an improvement in the cognition and depressive symptomatology of the elderly after a 7-week intervention program. Cognitive stimulation may be a useful tool to be included in the provision of care to older people. It may contribute to prevent depressive vulnerability in the elderly, thus contributing to a higher level of autonomy.
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