Physical, Affective, and Behavioral Effects of Group Reminiscence on Depressed Institutionalized Elders in Taiwan

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Depression among institutionalized elders is a common problem associated with physical and functional limitations, and effective interventions are needed.


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of group reminiscence on physical function, behavioral competence, and depression among clinically depressed, institutionalized elders.


A two-group, random-assignment quasi-experimental study was conducted in four long-term care facilities in southern Taiwan. The experimental group (n = 21) received six to eight group reminiscence sessions over 2 months compared with a routine care control group (n = 24). Outcome measurements included the Behavioral Rating Scale, Barthel's Index, and the Geriatric Depression Scale-short form.


Reminiscence sessions resulted in a significant 2-point decrease in theGeriatric Depression Scale-short form (p = .002) and improved behavioral competence (p = .001). No change was identified in functional ability.


Group reminiscence is a therapeutic intervention for depressed, institutionalized elders that can be managed by trained nursing staff. It is a cost-effective approach to improve psychosocial well-being for institutionalized older people. Additional research is needed on a larger sample across different diseases and cultural groups.

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