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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2007;44 Suppl 1:407-11.

Validation therapy (VT) in nursing home: a case-control study.

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  • 1IPAB, Public Care and Charity Institution, Istituto Giovanni XXIII, Bologna, Italy. l.tondi@istitutogiovannixxiii.it <l.tondi@istitutogiovannixxiii.it>

Abstract

VT is a method for communicating with elderly people with dementia. It has been applied since 2001 at the "Istituto Giovanni XXIII" in Bologna, a public trust, housing over 500 not self-sufficient elderly people. Around 75% of these subjects suffer from cognitive impairment, associated to behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in over 35%. To assess the effectiveness of VT, we carried out a study involving 50 subjects divided in two groups, of cases and controls, made up by 27 and 23 patients, respectively. In both groups neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI) and the Bedford Alzheimer nursing severity scale (BANSS) were used before the start and after the end of the study; the case group underwent both individual and group VT. The results show a marked decrease of the average NPI symptom score in the case group (from 22.0 to 9.5) vs. a rise in the control group (from 21.7 to 24.1). Agitation, apathy, irritability and nighttime behaviors were the most improved NPI items among the subjects who underwent the VT. In these patients also the NPI distress score turned out reduced, vs. a small increase in the control group. In the case group an improvement occurred with BANSS too, even if much slighter changes were registered vs. the control group. Although the small number of subjects enlisted does not allow to draw firm inferences, the study suggests that VT is able to reduce the severity and frequency of BPSD, thus improving the relationship with and the management of patients having diagnosis of dementia without any side effects.

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