Personal message cards: An evaluation of an alternative method of delivering simulated presence therapy

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Abstract

Simulated presence therapy is a technique which utilises a familiar recorded voice to calm and reassure people with dementia who are agitated or anxious. Although simulated presence therapy has shown potential benefits in small-scale studies, practical limitations in making and playing the recordings have restricted its use. An alternative method of delivering a message from an attachment figure is through a personal message card. This was one of seven products used within the Bath Memory Technology Library which was made available free of charge to people affected by dementia and their carers. This paper provides an evaluation of the personal message cards. Although feedback was received on only 10 of the 24 cards that were distributed, for nine people there was evidence that the cards met the goals that had been set either fully or in part, and that people affected by even quite severe levels of dementia could benefit from them.

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