Effects of reminiscence group in elderly people with Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia in a community setting
This study reports the effects of a reminiscence group program on elderly people with two major types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, in a randomized controlled clinical trial with a 6-month follow up. The subjects were 24 participants with Alzheimer's disease and 36 with vascular dementia, and were randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group followed a reminiscence group program in a geriatric health facility for 8 weeks; the control group followed a routine daycare program. The primary outcome was level of daily life activities (i.e. self-care, disorientation, depression, irritability and withdrawal) measured by the Multi-dimensional Observation Scale for Elderly Subjects. The second outcome was level of cognitive function measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination. For participants with Alzheimer's disease, the intervention group exhibited significant improvement of withdrawal compared with the control group immediately after intervention (P < 0.05). For participants with vascular dementia, the intervention group exhibited significant improvement of withdrawal and cognitive function compared with the control group immediately after intervention (withdrawal, P < 0.05; cognitive function, P < 0.05) and after 6-month follow up (withdrawal, P < 0.05; cognitive function, P < 0.05). The reminiscence group program is an effective means of enhancing the remaining capacity and the adaptation to a daily life in elderly people with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. However, it is also suggested that sustained intervention may be necessary to maintain the effect over time, especially in elderly people with Alzheimer's disease.
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