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Public Health Nurs. 2003 Jul-Aug;20(4):297-306.

The effect of reminiscence on the elderly population: a systematic review.

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School of Nursing, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Jen Ai Road, Section 1, Taipei 100, Taiwan.


Reminiscence therapy is an independent nursing intervention that may be helpful in maintaining or improving self-esteem and life satisfaction for the elderly, but the effects of reminiscence therapy are difficult to measure. For a greater understanding of reminiscence as a nursing therapeutic, this article reviewed the developmental history and theoretical basis of reminiscence and evaluated the empirical evidence concerning the use and effectiveness of reminiscence in the elderly. A lack of consist research findings resulted from selecting different therapeutic goals, different types of reminiscence, different dependent measures, different data collection tools, different sample populations, and small sample size. Future nursing research should redefine the concept and attempt to standardize the measurement of reminiscence and then forge ahead using rigorous research designs to develop a body of knowledge regarding reminiscence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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