Reminiscence group therapy on depression and apathy in nursing home residents with mild-to-moderate dementia

Chia Jung Hsieh, Chueh Chang, Shu Fang Su, Yu-Ling Shiao, Ya Wen Shih, Wen Hui Han, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Individuals with mild-to-moderate dementia often exhibit depression and apathy as manifested by symptoms of negative affect. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not reminiscence group therapy (RGT) reduces depression and improves symptoms of apathy. Methods: The study was one of experimental design with a pre-post control group; 61 residents from two nursing homes were randomly distributed into two parallel groups. An RGT program consisting of 12 sessions, 40-50 minutes per week, was implemented for the residents in the experimental (intervention) group. The instruments used to collect data included the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Apathy Evaluation Scale, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 15.0. Results: After 12 sessions, the residents in the intervention group reported a reduction in depressed mood (Z = -2.99, p < 0.05), and showed specific improvements in their behavior score (Z = -3.10, p < 0.05) and cognition apathy score (Z = -1.95, p < 0.05). Neuropsychiatric I nventor y depression scores had also decreased (Z = -2.20, p < 0.05). Conclusion: RGT has significant efficacy in the treatment of depressed mood and apathy in patients with mild-to-moderate stage dementia. This non-pharmacological intervention reduced emotional distress among nursing home residents with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Apathy
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Nursing home
  • Reminiscence therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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