The Longitudinal Effects of Individual Reminiscence Program on Community-Dwelling Elderly with Dementia

Monday, 12 July 2010: 3:25 PM

Jeng Wang, PhD
Department of Geriatric Care and Management, Chang-Gung Institute of Technology, Tao-Yau, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: understand the effects of the alternative therapy among the community elderly with dementia.

Learning Objective 2: develop a similar program to benefit the demented elderly in his/her practice or research.

Purpose: ,The longitudinal effects of the individual reminiscence program (IRP) on cognitive function, mood status, and quality of life among the demented elderly in community were examined.
Methods: , A quasi-experimental design was implemented in the study. Thirty-seven demented elderly were screened from a target population of 300 community dwelling elderly in Taiwan. Besides the demographic data, all subjects were assessed by mini-mental status examination (MMSE), clock drawing test (CDT), WHO-QoL, and geriatric depression scale (GDS). Their blood pressure (BP), blood sugar (BS), and body mass index (BMI) were also checked.  Finally, 5 demented subjects rejected to participate in the study, but the remained (n= 32, MMSE<=21& CDT>=4) were randomly assigned into control (n=16) and experimental groups (n=16, EG).  A 6-week individual reminiscence program was given to the EG. The pre-test was administered before IRP. The posttest and post-post test were checked 1 week, 3 and 6 month later after IRP. The effects of IRP were evaluated by non-parametric data analysis.
Results: The dementia prevalence rate was 12.33%.  All subjects were age over 65 (mean=74.9, rang from 65 to 93). The demographic data of tow groups were not statistically different. The EG demonstrated higher cognitive function and WHO-QoL scores (p=0.01, P<0.01) at the first week, and the third and sixth month. Their BP and BMI both decreased. (p<0.001, p=0.014) at week one. However, the reduction in GDS scores was not significant.
Conclusion: The effects of IRP would last on the cognitive function and quality of life among the community elderly, but reduction in BP and BMI of the demented subjects only worked in a short period of time. IRP is an effective alternative intervention for the community elderly, but a larger sample size and different population may need to be examined in the future study.