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Immediate effectiveness of the "new identity" reality orientation therapy (ROT) for people with dementia in a geriatric day hospital.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Aging, Dementia Expertise Center, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, I-40138 Bologna, Italy.


Techniques of reality orientation in dementia are widely used around the world and indifferent settings. Nevertheless, after the controversies for adverse effects and frustration,by the new millennium "a new era" is coming on where cognitive rehabilitation "has come of age" and a series of positive results appeared until the fulfillment in the global and person-centered approach. This renewed technique may no more be based only on cognitive psychology but it is necessary to apply a more complete psychosocial approach taking into account also emotional, behavioral and functional domains of the globally considered person. The aims of our study are: (1) To assess the global efficacy on cognitive and affective functions. (2) To detect cognitive subsystems more sensible to our three-phase stimulation program. We studied 34 outpatients, 13 men and 21 women, age range 67-88 years, referred to our Expertise Center, all but one affected by mild cognitive impairment(MCI), suffering from mild dementia (clinical dementia rating, CDR <1). After 20 sessions of formal and complementary activities, a comprehensive improvement of cognition, language,memory and affective functions was observed. Semantic fluency improved with high statistically significant difference. The immediate recall, free or cued, appeared more sensible to stimulation than the delayed one. A correlation between a mini mental state examination (MMSE) low basal score and higher performance after the program was also obtained.

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