A large-scale longitudinal study of the therapeutic value of reminiscence intervention with elderly institutionalized adults

Rattenbury, Christine Ruth (1991) A large-scale longitudinal study of the therapeutic value of reminiscence intervention with elderly institutionalized adults. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Two experiments were conducted in order to ascertain the therapeutic value of reminiscence intervention for elderly adults. In Experiment 1, subjects were selected from five different nursing homes in St. John's, NFLD. The reminiscence group consisted of 75 subjects whereas 101 subjects formed the no-treatment control group. This study was divided into three phases which spanned approximately 18 months. Dependent measures included indices relevant to mental and physical well-being, and a loneliness scale for the institutionalized elderly (LSIE) that was developed and validated for use in this study. Reminiscence subjects obtained significantly more favorable levels of psychological well-being relative to the controls in each of the three phases of study. Also, across the first and second phases, reminiscence subjects reported significantly fewer limitations in their capacity for physical activity, and they were less likely to drop out of the study in the second phase because of illness. As the study progressed into the third phase, the physical health of all subjects deteriorated substantially. However, reminiscence subjects who participated in all phases reported a higher capacity for physical activity than those control subjects who participated in all phases. The use of reminiscence intervention in nursing homes was supported by these findings. -- In Experiment 2, reminiscence groups were conducted with cognitively impaired elderly subjects. Reminiscence participants were compared with a no-treatment control group on measures of happiness/depression, physical symptoms and mental status. Results supported the conclusion that psychological well-being cannot be assessed reliably in cognitively impaired adults using a self-report measure. No improvements were obtained in mental status. It was concluded that reminiscence group discussion should not be the intervention of choice if the goal of therapy is to promote cognitive functioning in demented adults.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5915
Item ID: 5915
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 142-152.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reminiscing--Therapeutic use; Older people--Psychology; Older people--Mental health

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