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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;29(10):1062-70. doi: 10.1002/gps.4099. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

The impact of reminiscence on the quality of life of residents with dementia in long-stay care.

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  • 1School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland.



There is increasing recognition of the potential use of reminiscence in maintaining or improving the quality of life of people with dementia. Despite being used widely in dementia care, evidence on the effectiveness of reminiscence remains uncertain.


This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a structured education-based reminiscence programme-the Dementia Education Programme Incorporating Reminiscence for Staff-for people with dementia residing in long-stay care settings in Ireland.


Dementia Education Programme Incorporating Reminiscence for Staff is a two-group, single-blind, cluster randomised trial conducted in long-stay residential care settings in Ireland. The primary outcome was the self-rated quality of life of residents as measured by the Quality of Life-Alzheimer's Disease instrument.


Using an intention-to-treat analysis, we found that the estimated effect of the intervention on the quality of life of residents was a non-significant 3.54 (p = 0.1; 95% confidence interval -0.83, 7.90), expressed as the difference in mean improvement between the intervention and control groups. However, the per-protocol analysis yielded a significant effect for the intervention on the quality of life of residents of 5.22 (p = 0.04; 95% confidence interval 0.11, 10.34).


Reminiscence may, in certain circumstances, be an effective care option for people with dementia in long-stay settings with potential to impact positively on the quality of life of residents.

Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


cluster randomised controlled; dementia; long-stay care; psychosocial interventions; quality of life; reminiscence; trial

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