Increasing enjoyable activities to treat depression in nursing home residents with dementia: A pilot study

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Abstract

This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a behavioral activities intervention (BE-ACTIV) in Australian nursing homes. BE-ACTIV was developed by researchers at the University of Louisville, USA, to improve mood and quality of life (QOL) in nursing home residents with mild to moderate dementia. An eight-week trial was conducted and 10 residents with mild to moderate dementia received the BE-ACTIV intervention while eight residents received a Walking and Talking intervention. Measures of depression (GDS-12R) and QOL (QOL-AD-NH) were administered prior to and following the interventions. Qualitative feedback indicated residents benefited from BE-ACTIV, evident by improved mood, although no statistically significant treatment effect was found. Moreover, the intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable to Australian nursing home staff and our findings highlight the importance of individualizing activities for people with dementia, of which 1:1 staff attention was a key component.

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