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Effect of a Program of Diverse Activities on Disturbed Behavior in Three Severely Demented Patients

  • Rob C. Sival (a1), Ralf W. Vingerhoets (a2), P. M. Judith Haffmans (a1), Paul A. F. Jansen (a3) and J. N. Ton Hazelhoff (a1)...

Abstract

The effects of a daily program of various activities on disturbed behavior were studied prospectively in three patients with severe dementia. Prior to the study, patients had not responded to treatment with benzodiazepines and/or neuroleptics. The study consisted of three periods, each lasting for 4 weeks: i.e., baseline, intervention, and follow-up. During each period, behavior was assessed by means of observation scales: GIP, SDAS, and CGI. Psychotropic medication was held as constant as possible. During intervention, the patients took part in a program of activities, including group, musical, physical, and social activities. During baseline and follow-up, patients followed the regular ward activities. The patients showed different responses, probably related to personal interests. Possible implications for the treatment of patients with dementia, complicated by disturbed behavior, and suggestions for future research are discussed. The enthusiasm of the nursing staff dealing with these patients was a promising result.

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