Distinctive effects between cognitive stimulation and reminiscence therapy on cognitive function and quality of life for different types of behavioural problems in dementia

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Abstract

Background

Among the various complementary therapies for patients with dementia (PwD), cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) and reminiscence therapy (RT) are frequently used to improve cognitive function and quality of life. However, no studies have examined the use of complementary therapies applied to different types of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in PwD.

Aims

The purpose of this study was to investigate the distinctive effects of CST and RT on cognitive function and quality of life for PwD with three types of behavioural problems – the dispute, return and dissociate types.

Methods

A quasi-experimental design was employed. A total of PwD residing in 10 long-term care institutions participated in the study and were divided into three groups. The CST and RT groups received 50-minute sessions of intervention therapy once a week for 10 continuous weeks, and the control group participated in regular activities. The pretest (week 1), post-test (week 12) and follow-up (week 24) data were collected using the Mini–Mental State Examination and Quality of Life–Alzheimer's Disease. Two-way analysis of variance was used for data analysis.

Results

The results of our study revealed CST and RT interventions had positive effects on cognition and quality of life of PwD. For short-term effects on cognitive function, CST was the most positive intervention for the dispute type. With regard to short-term effects on quality of life, CST was greater than RT for PwD. For follow-up effects, CST and RT may have potentially sustained effects.

Conclusion

This study suggests that CST and RT could be applied to improve the cognitive function and quality of life for PwD, as well as contribute to the effectiveness of nonpharmacological approaches to PwD with certain types of behavioural problems.

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