Using Acupressure and Montessori-Based Activities to Decrease Agitation for Residents with Dementia: A Cross-Over Trial

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the effectiveness of acupressure and Montessori-based activities in decreasing the agitated behaviors of residents with dementia.

DESIGN:

A double-blinded, randomized (two treatments and one control; three time periods) cross-over design was used.

SETTING:

Six special care units for residents with dementia in long-term care facilities in Taiwan were the sites for the study.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred thirty-three institutionalized residents with dementia.

INTERVENTION:

Subjects were randomized into three treatment sequences: acupressure-presence-Montessori methods, Montessori methods-acupressure-presence and presence-Montessori methods-acupressure. All treatments were done once a day, 6 days per week, for a 4-week period.

MEASUREMENT:

The Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, Ease-of-Care, and the Apparent Affect Rating Scale.

RESULTS:

After receiving the intervention, the acupressure and Montessori-based-activities groups saw a significant decrease in agitated behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and physically nonaggressive behaviors than the presence group. Additionally, the ease-of-care ratings for the acupressure and Montessori-based-activities groups were significantly better than for the presence group. In terms of apparent affect, positive affect in the Montessori-based-activities group was significantly better than in the presence group.

CONCLUSION:

This study confirms that a blending of traditional Chinese medicine and a Western activities program would be useful in elderly care and that in-service training for formal caregivers in the use of these interventions would be beneficial for patients.

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